The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Cheap whey costing me gains...???

    For the lack ov a better title... I'm desperate here...

    I've been on a serious bulking phase for the last three months. Started at 229 average weight, about 11% BF, and after all this time i'm still around the same (relative) size. The last two weeks average was 232.5lbs. 3.5lbs in that time is a joke, bodyfat is down to a bit over 10%. I realize few here know me but trust me, over all else, strength, powerlifting, weightlifting, my forte is easily gaining lean body mass. I've NEVER had a problem gaining serious size and weight, i'm pure mesomorphic. Last November i started a 5 month admittedly half-assed bulk phase and gained 11-12 solid pounds and size everywhere... not to mention 40lbs on my stubborn bench.

    I wrote a huge novel on this and listed the possible reasons for this (its nothing simple) in my journal on another forum, i'm not gonna do that again here. Its beyond frustrating. I should be 240lbs by now.

    One ov the things i'm wondering about though is, last bulk i was using one brand ov supplements, and the best stuff they had... pure isolate for protein and pure creatine mono. I dont use much else. The protein was very high quality, and about as pure as it gets (nothing else in it, i never use 'mass-gainers').

    This time around i'm a lot poorer, and while thats not a great time to bulk (when you cant afford food) i've been somehow eating more, and better, than last time. I've been eating a LOT more. I hate eating this much. I still get over half my daily protein intake through whey (in water) shakes though. Anyways, this whole bulk i've been beg/borrow/stealing pretty much anything i can get my hands on for protein. The last month especially i've been buying just bulk chocolate whey (concentrate, not great quality either), because its cheap... really cheap.

    Everything else checks out, i know what i'm doing. My nutrition is thorough, my pre and post workout nutrition especially. My sleep is a solid 9 hours a day, or more. Ironically, the only stress i have in my life is this stupid bulking problem (and the money and time its wasting).

    Could cheap concentrate protein be costing me these gains? I'm missing a good 7 or more pounds here, is high quality isolate really THAT much better? I always figured 30gr protein was 30gr protein, whether i need one scoop or two to get it... but now i wonder...

    Maybe this bulk whey i'm getting is just god damn cocoa powder...

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    I should add that the general physical feeling i've had throughout most ov this phase is the same one i had back in the days when i didn't know how to eat (read: how to feed true LBM gain). In three months i'm a bit heavier, noticeably more muscular and noticeably leaner at the same time. So maybe about 5lbs LBM in that time, but thats still pretty lame for me. Last time that happened i was trying to bulk and lean simultaneously (long long time ago), and aside from the above, everything just felt a bit strained. I feel like i'm not getting enough protein for the bulk, and unless the protein is the culprit, thats just not possible.

  4. #3
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    lol its not your whey... Up you're fats and that is more than likely you're solution.
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  5. #4
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    Personally, I've never seen any quantifiable difference when I was using cheap whey protein vs. better quality protein blends. I know the theoretical benefits of the better protein, I just haven't seen them. Unless the cheap protein you are getting isn't actually protein at all, I'm not convinced that's your problem.
    Here are the two possibilities I would consider. Didn't you mention marathon training sessions in another thread (2-3+ hours)? Perhaps you need to re-think your training a bit. Not necessarily change everything, but certainly scale back a bit. I was looking at my training journals from ~5 years ago when I first got into powerlifting (but had been training for years). Now if I tried to do the volume of work I did back then it would absolutely bury me. I've had to adjust as I've gained size and strength or I would have stalled out long ago.
    The other possibility is that you are simply getting closer to your genetic potential for muscle mass, especially at a relatively low bodyfat %. Everyone's gains slow at some point no matter how well they do things.
    I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's all I can come up with.

  6. #5
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Unless the cheap protein you are getting isn't actually protein at all
    All I'll say is you are on to something here. There are some brands out there that I would not trust


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  7. #6
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Personally, I've never seen any quantifiable difference when I was using cheap whey protein vs. better quality protein blends. I know the theoretical benefits of the better protein, I just haven't seen them.
    This was always my thinking too. There is cheap, then better, then best. I used to take the best, and right now i'm getting protein at HALF the cost ov the cheapest brand in any given store. I wish i could afford the quality iso i was taking before, but its almost three times the price. Perhaps its the difference between isolate and concentrate? I've ALWAYS taken a pure isolate, only recently have i settled for less.

    Here are the two possibilities I would consider. Didn't you mention marathon training sessions in another thread (2-3+ hours)? Perhaps you need to re-think your training a bit. Not necessarily change everything, but certainly scale back a bit. I was looking at my training journals from ~5 years ago when I first got into powerlifting (but had been training for years). Now if I tried to do the volume of work I did back then it would absolutely bury me. I've had to adjust as I've gained size and strength or I would have stalled out long ago.
    Thing is, i've built UP to what i do now. When i started lifting i'd be dead after 5 hours. Most ov my sessions now are topping out at 4 hours, and thats honestly where i make my best gains. Keep in mind our gym has a few lifters, so its a social thing too. If i went into the gym with headphones on and my misanthropic face on and did nothing but lift, i'd bet i could knock an hour off.


    The other possibility is that you are simply getting closer to your genetic potential for muscle mass, especially at a relatively low bodyfat %. Everyone's gains slow at some point no matter how well they do things.
    I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's all I can come up with.
    I can see that one, but so abruptly and suddenly...??? Like i said, just 6 months ago i put on 11-12lbs without really trying. I can see the gravy train slowing at some point, but not so suddenly and abruptly. I think i'm still pretty far from my (clean) genetic potential, i've only been at this 5 1/2 years.

    I have yet to do something drastic to get these gains... i've got a Russian squat program sitting in the wings and i've not benched any volume (at all) in four months (having replaced it with military presses, which i thought would fill the void... guess not), and i'm still not drinking any milk. So there are three big things i can throw in to get what i need. I shouldn't need them though...
    Last edited by Judas; 11-17-2009 at 04:15 AM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    All I'll say is you are on to something here. There are some brands out there that I would not trust
    That was kinda the underlying concern here. I wish there was a list somewhere ov proven shyster companies...

    I'd ask about the specific brand, but now it might look like i'm just slagging it, and thats not my point. Too bad theres no way to test a protein for content...

  9. #8
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    You should be able to take a sample to your councils registered health inspecters for a lab analysis, you may have to slip them a bit of cash for it though.

    With the cost of Protein (ISO/CONCENTRATE) being quite high, I'm not suprised AT ALL if things get cut with fillers. Its a semi-regulated industry in America (To my knowledge, I'm not going to spout on about cowboys and such..), and if things are working out to be less than 60c a serve for 30g of protein - I'm not suprised if some blends are more than 3/4's malto-dextrin.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Hah! this thread has turned my concern to paranoia. My cheapass bulk whey runs out today, so it looks like i'm back to the rich-guy stuff.

    Heh heh... so paranoid in fact that after a particularly brutal workout tonight i borrowed some protein off someone else and mixed it with milk... just in case...

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