There was an immense volume of interest expressed by MonsterSupplements customers in regards to ‘’bulking.’’ Rather than cover the whole story which Phil Learney covered very well this week in his article ‘’Getting Jacked’’ we are going to discuss one specific area – body fat levels and anabolism. If this sounds a bit French to you don’t panic, we can take time, work from the foundations and then progress from there.
The typical approach by those who ‘’bulk’’ is to cram down calories – they load up on carbs, fats and sustain a high protein diet. Fine. The issue is that people often go over board and do two major things wrong here –
1. Over estimate how many calories they need and think more is better
2. Disregard calorie quality because after all ‘’weight gained is weight gained’’
If you are in this position stop and think a moment. What do you want to gain? Body fat? Surely not. To build muscle it pays to stay as lean as you can whilst gaining weight. You will inevitably gain SOME body fat as you grow (not always true, some genetics afford you the freedom to avoid that happening) but the key is to limit how much.
This means finding that point whereby you are eating enough to facilitate growth yet avoid getting fatter and fatter. There should be a point where you can maintain that condition.
Why is this so important? Glad you asked.
1 – Insulin Sensitivity
When you eat the pancreas secrets X amount of insulin depending on the glycemic load of the meal. Guzzling down carbs as if their a ‘’care free’’ food will over time result in beta cell damage. As this progresses the chances are your ability to utilise glucose will diminish because your body’s insulin health will deteriate. Insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body so you want to be able to recruit its powers!! Don’t be a ‘’carb-o-phob’’ just be carb-conscious. Use them when needed and then replace them with fats when not needed. Pretty simple.
2 – Estrogen Isn’t As Anabolic As Testosterone
Before you mistake this statement for something a wannabe Sherlock Holmes would come out with hear me out. In theory if you allow your body fat to increase and increase your estrogen levels will increase as your testosterone levels decrease. The aromatise enzyme responsible for this process (aromatisation = testosterone to estrogen) lives in fat cells.
There is a brief reason as to why ‘’gaining weight’’ isn’t the only goal, muscle is.