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

It’s 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
    Wannabebig Member
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    general question about fat loss

    Ok I'm 5'11 214lbs. If I am trying to gain muscle and burn fat is a 2300 calorie a day diet good. Because I was told to go on that calorie limit but it seems like I'm eating too much. I'm on my mwf lifting schedule but it just seems like I'm eating more than I was when I was just fat. Am I wrong or should I stick to this?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    You need to find out what your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is. Once you find that, then you can tell. Everyone is different to an extent so just saying you need to eat more or less based off of what you gave us is hard to do.

    There's charts on the Internet to give you a baseline for finding BMR, but after that you need to track your diet for a week or so and determine what number has you maintaining weight. From that point on, you'll want to increase that by around 200-300 calories (to bulk without gaining much fat)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    One thing you need to realize is you can not build muscle while loosing fat. You have to be in a calorie deficit when loosing fat, which is the opposite when trying to gain muscle. The only thing you do while losing fat is to try and maintain the muscle you have.

  5. #4
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    One thing you need to realize is you can not build muscle while loosing fat. You have to be in a calorie deficit when loosing fat, which is the opposite when trying to gain muscle. The only thing you do while losing fat is to try and maintain the muscle you have.
    If he's new to lifting, depending on his current composition, genetics, etc. It's quite possible to do a recomp.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    If he's new to lifting, depending on his current composition, genetics, etc. It's quite possible to do a recomp.
    Yeah, thats what I was told by someone that I basically rely on when it comes to lifting, but he's gone off to basic training and I really cant contact him to ask him. I have fat around the usual places (chest, belly, back), but due to genetics I really dont carry fat on my legs, plus I have a job where I constantly walk around. I was always told to "turn my muscle into fat" but I have done research and see that that is impossible because they are both two different things.

    But I also read that when you build muscle it burns fat. So my whole thing is, "If I build more muscle, and keep my calories around 2000 shouldn't I be burning fat?"

    I have recently started a 3 day a week routine of weights mixed with a little cardio (jumping jacks between sets for 30-60 seconds) and I am monitoring my calories and keeping them around 2000-2100, but when I entered my weightloss goals through a calorie log app on my iphone, it says I should be eating 2300 a day. Thats where I am lost, because I even though I ate dumb crap before it was always around 2300-2400 cals.

    It's only been about three weeks so I'm not expecting to be diesel but I just wanted to check that I was doing it right.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    You can recomp. but its a slow process. I'd just lift regularly, with a low cal diet that is designed to have around 1g/lb of protein/body weight. In this case, low cal meaning below maintenance. The lifting will up your metabolism, spare lean mass from catabolism and possibly provide a little hypertrophy.

    Once you lean out, you can begin focusing on building more muscle mass.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

  8. #7
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    As a noob you can definitely add some muscle while losing fat. But, it won't last for long. The more lean you become the more you'll struggle even maintain muscle mass, let alone gain any muscle mass.

    The BMR charts are great. But, they are just tools. They aren't individually calibrated to your genetics, recent history, etc. If fatloss is the goal then I'd continue to eat around 2,000 calories for a month or so and track your body changes; weight, size measurements of waist, thighs, and chest. See if that is a low enough calorie level to induce weight loss. If you were eating about 2.300 calories and not exercising, and now you eat about 2,000 and introduce exercise you'll definitely see some improvements in body composition, strength, etc. But, to lose any significant fat you'll need to lose some actual weight. Anything from 1.5 to 0.5 pounds per week is a pretty good goal. If you're losing more than this you'll risk losing muscle. If you lose less than this you won't lose much fat.

    As a short term plan you could attempt to lose a pound per week while improving your strength on the big lifts. If you continue to get stronger then you should be able to guarantee that you at least aren't losing any muscle. Most likely, you'll gain some muscle simply because you're a newbie.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Obviously genetics play a huge role in this. But if you are truly a newbie to lifting you are much better off either eating maintenance calories and building some muscle or increasing caloires even more to build a good foundation before you attempt to get leaner because if you foucs on just getting lean first without that base its going to take even longer to build up.

    I see this too many times especially with individuals new to lifting they want to gain muscle mass and get lean right off the bat. Even though you may put on a tad bit of muscle the first few weeks that will diminish very quickly due to the calorie deficit. It harder to build muscle than to loose fat so my advice is to build your foundation first then lean down. You can't scuplt a pebble.

    Obviously this is general info without seeing you or knowing more info.
    Last edited by Allen Cress; 07-28-2010 at 08:23 PM.

  10. #9
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    For a skinny dude, I would agree with you. But, if some one is coming in with a lot of fat and getting lean is there primary goal, eating at maintenance or above isn't going to accomplish their goal.

    At 5'11" and 215 the OP isn't really obese. So, perhaps your suggestion would make more sense for him. Eat at maintenance and just focus on the training.

    To the OP, building muscle on a 2,000 calorie diet is only going to work for a couple of months in the beginning. After that you'll need more calories to stimulate growth.
    Last edited by chaddukes; 07-29-2010 at 05:39 AM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    If you want to do a body comp, eat like you're already at the weight and BF you want to be. It will balance itself out if you give it enough time.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Only a genetically select few can put on real world muscle without adding weight or bulking to some extent.
    To build muscle you must have the building materials(calories) . Then under the stimulus of training, the correct biochemical and endocrine foundations can be used to build yur physique. Make no mistake, for most of us with average genetics, building a physique is metabolically expensive; the cost of which may be putting on extra weight so the body has the stores it needs to trigger growth.

    The problem for newbies is they start hearing buzz phrases like “I'm doing a lean bulk” which flies in the face of common sense. If this were indeed a probability, do you not think the best bodybuilders in the world would stay in shape year round? There would certainly be a lot more financial incentive in it for them if they could. Once again simple observation of the real world puts these promises in their rightful place. If top genetically gifted bodybuilders, taking a potpourri of pharmaceuticals know they cannot put on muscle while dieting for a show; then how can someone who is natural with average genetics think they can diet to lose percentages of bodyfat while still putting on visible muscle. Unfourtunately it’s born from the fitness industry sell-outs who only want to gain a heavier wallet than to really help anyone.

    And the research is and always has been there to prove it. So as a trainee diets to get lean he shuts off any capacity to gain muscle. (unless he is very advanced) As well-known and respected researcher Dr. Friedl put it, “insufficient energy intake (as in dieting to get lean) is one of the principle causes of decreased testosterone….the hypothalamus detects that there are insufficient calories to sustain current muscle mass and therefore inhibits any muscle mass development.” Moreover, he states, “inadequate energy intake (low calories and/or low carbs) will result in a decline in thyroid hormones and testosterone, which in turn would favour the LOSS of fast twitch muscle fiber, and therefore would be unfavourable to strength athletes.”

    Now is someone is overweight is has a lot of excess bodyfat then they should diet and loose some of it first. But if someone just has a soft physique with no muscle development their first goal should be to add muscle by eating the proper amount of calories. I don't mean they have to do a bulking diet per say.

  13. #12
    Senior Member seK's Avatar
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    I would suggest you do whatever you think will make you happy in the end, if you want to lose some fat do so, if you want to get stronger up your cals and go for it.
    From a purly effiency standpoint I would choose one or the other and go with it.

  14. #13
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    Just my two cents on this. And I appolgize now for the references fictional/hollywood people, but I think its the easiest way for people to recognise the body types I'm describing.

    When "they" say that you can't get big or put on muscle while cutting, I think what they mean is really big, like dudes from 300/Dave Tate sort of big. If you are out of shape, just starting off and want to see the results of your efforts without getting fatter with a bulk first, you can get some good results though eating a good clean diet that is slightly less calories than you need and still acheive the brad pitt in fight club sort of "big" (but remember to the guys on this site that's not big). You won't be a giant doing that but you'll probably get fitter than you are now, gain some lean muscle mass and its an encouraging way to get a good base that can get you into the mind set. If you want to go on from there and start lifiting really serious weights and getting really big, you can start looking at bulking and cutting.

    Just my two cents and YMMV, I'd be curious to see what the more experienced guys have to say on that.

  15. #14
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    Allan Cress is really giving some spot on advice.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    It really all depends on how much muscle they currently have naturally. THis has to be assessed to give a definite answer. When I answer questions its always general because a lot more info is needed to know what to do and where to start.

  17. #16
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I would lean towards getting lean first and then once you are lean focus on building muscle - I just found that this was the best method for me from a motivational perspective but also from a visual perspective (I look a ton better lean).

    But pick one or the other and gear everything around that goal and be consistent with it.

    But DO choose one - my BIGGEST mistake in the last 10 years was trying to do both and as Allen said unless you are genetically gifted or VERY over weight (I am guessing neither apply to you) it's going to be very hard to do both.

    At 5,11 and 215lbs, my advice would be to go on a calorie defect (adjust calories downwards based on what the scale s telling you now if it feels like you are eating too much) and once you feel good about how lean you are, slowly increase calories and decrease activity.

    As you can see from this thread, everyone will have different views - so do what is going to make you happy and stay true to that goal until you have achieved it.
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  18. #17
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    I have a general grasp at what you guys are saying. And I'm going to try to cut down on calories ill stay around 2000 a day which is 300 less as well as sticking with my 3 day routine. Ill try to stick with bodyweight excersises as well as resistance training. Do you guys think that that's enough?

  19. #18
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwill1212 View Post
    I have a general grasp at what you guys are saying. And I'm going to try to cut down on calories ill stay around 2000 a day which is 300 less as well as sticking with my 3 day routine. Ill try to stick with bodyweight excersises as well as resistance training. Do you guys think that that's enough?
    Just get on a standard strength program, such as starting strength or billstarr/madcow 5x5 and adjust intensity/volume to match your recovery abilities.
    Last edited by Raleighwood; 08-03-2010 at 04:13 PM.
    My 10 week cut results

    "Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."

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