The science behind exercise and weight loss can be so frustrating

  • manpit209

    Posts: 213

    Oct 17, 2010 5:08 PM GMT
    I don't know about you guys but some times thinking about all the science behind exercise and weight loss gives me a headache especially when I'm trying to lose very little amount of weight. For instance, it's a known fact that the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. The more calories burned, you get to stay leaner BUT to maintain your muscle you have to take in the right might of calories. If you want to bulk up you have to take in even more calories but could risk it turning into fat.

    It's really frustrating because it seems you have to be so precise about everything in order to get the body you want. I know that other people have been able to do it as you can probably observe for yourself by just looking at the profiles here. I don't know how you guys do it. Some times I feel at a loss as to what to do. I've been working out and changing up exercises and my diet for several years now and I haven't really loss significant weight or gain much. I kind of plateau a while ago.

    I really have to give props to the guys who are buff and/or ripped. You guys are not just athletic but pretty much damn near scientists as well. Does anyone else feel this way?
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    Oct 17, 2010 8:15 PM GMT
    Since I study this stuff, I agree that there is a lot of science behind it. That said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    There are also a lot of guys on here who cheat with certain pharmaceuticals because the hard work and dedication and diet planning just takes too much discipline and determination for a lot of people, and medical doctors will write prescriptions on a whim.
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    Oct 17, 2010 8:20 PM GMT
    It is a lot of science, but that is what makes it interesting.

    It also fights the preconception that fitness freaks are in some way dumb. Taking time to study the workings of the body, and applying these principles to yourself is applied science, and therewith very interesting work.

    And as with everything, it's a matter of how big a deal it is to you. If you don't really care you probably won't have the energy to do extensive research on the biology.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Oct 17, 2010 10:03 PM GMT
    That said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    I think this is the main reason for someone's appearance and athletic capability and why it's harder for a lot of people to get the body or fitness they would like when they are not as genetically predisposed as other people.
    That or help from drugs.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Oct 17, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    That said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    I think this is the main reason for someone's appearance and athletic capability and why it's harder for a lot of people to get the body or fitness they would like when they are not as genetically predisposed as other people.
    That or help from drugs.
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    Oct 17, 2010 10:11 PM GMT
    Genetics can be a real pain to overcome...my body likes to operate on overdrive, doesn't like to eat (have to force myself) and prefers 4-6 hrs of sleep. Just keep at it dude...patience and discipline are key!
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    Oct 17, 2010 11:16 PM GMT
    i've been reading quite a bit lately also.
    My case is even more tricky , hardgainer and over 50
    I have to add testosterone to the equation plus i'm an endurance sports freak.
    I'll sacrifice cardio but only to an extent and accept slower gains.
    But i believe i can squeeze in a few pounds still.
    10 would be fantastic but we'll see.

    As scientific and researched as it is, it's still seems very imprecise, there are just too many variables that will affect your hormonal balance for you to always keep it at an absolute maximum . So you must allow for a certain error margin .
    If all had been figured out they wouldn't still be researching right ?

    I still read a lot about it all because it's fascinating but i've come to one conclusion : i'm getting a PT.

    and i'm anxiously waiting for androxal to come out. ( on its way of being approved by the FDA - it stimulates the pituitary gland ) .
  • tooblack

    Posts: 2

    Oct 17, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    Here's another headache for you: I'm sure you've read that keeping your insulin levels low to moderate (by eating say 6 smaller meals a day and doing your cardio for say 30 mins) helps you to lose weight. But are you aware that anabolic (muscle building) development is contigent on higher insulin levels? Gah! it's a very hard balance! and eveyone here is right to say the genes have a role to play in your standard overall look and how your body deals with food.

    Something else to keep in mind: Body builders (roids notwithstanding) go through building phases and then a cutting phase (right before a show), presicely because fat burning (60%-75% V O2 max, accompanied by high metabolic methods of eating that keep output high and insulin levels low) conflict with muscle building higher insulin metabolic processes...

    makes your head spin and I bore my clients to tears with the explanation...
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    Oct 18, 2010 11:48 AM GMT
    manpit209 saidIt's really frustrating because it seems you have to be so precise about everything in order to get the body you want

    It's not rocket science at all. It's really pretty simple - lift hard, eat hard, sleep long. As for what you eat, it really doesn't matter all that much as long as you get enough protein.
    Yesterday, for example, I ate McDonald's, mac&cheese, cookies, chips/salsa, & protein shakes. Not very healthy, but I got my 200+g protein in, and that's all I care about. I get a little fatter before I cut, but then I start losing 8lbs/month until I hit whatever weight I want.

    manpit209 said If you want to bulk up you have to take in even more calories but could risk it turning into fat?

    There you go. If you're worried about fat; you'll never gain muscle. If you don't gain muscle, you'll never hit the ultra low body fat %s without looking anorexic. Get fat, enjoy it, lose it all later. Rinse/repeat

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    Oct 18, 2010 4:23 PM GMT
    manpit209 saidIt's really frustrating because it seems you have to be so precise about everything in order to get the body you want.
    That's the #1 problem with fitness.
    Instead of going for the body you want, just adjust your lifestyle/routine to make your body be the best it's capable of. It will never be how you "want" it to be, because everyone wants to look like a Greek God. Just make it as good as possible, and be happy for the improvement. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 18, 2010 4:52 PM GMT
    tooblack saidHere's another headache for you: I'm sure you've read that keeping your insulin levels low to moderate (by eating say 6 smaller meals a day and doing your cardio for say 30 mins) helps you to lose weight. But are you aware that anabolic (muscle building) development is contigent on higher insulin levels? Gah! it's a very hard balance! and eveyone here is right to say the genes have a role to play in your standard overall look and how your body deals with food.

    Something else to keep in mind: Body builders (roids notwithstanding) go through building phases and then a cutting phase (right before a show), presicely because fat burning (60%-75% V O2 max, accompanied by high metabolic methods of eating that keep output high and insulin levels low) conflict with muscle building higher insulin metabolic processes...

    makes your head spin and I bore my clients to tears with the explanation...


    That bodybuilder stuff is kind of off though. Yeah, bulking and then cutting is one way to have lean mass but it doesn't mean it's the only way(or even a healthy way, in some cases). For example, I gained 30lbs of lean mass between January and July eating precisely the way you say contradicts muscle building. icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 18, 2010 4:55 PM GMT
    To the OP: if you're looking for a wealth of information concerning the lean mass development, try this eBook. http://webcast.bodybuilding.com/fitshow/other/theleanmassdiet.pdf

    I only followed the diet generally and I still made impressive gains compared to the couple of years I'd been at a plateau.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Oct 18, 2010 4:56 PM GMT
    Ah, I feel the same but different: I find the science frustrating in that there is so little of it. What there is of it I find makes things infinitely easier.

    Anyway, if you're at a muscle mass you're happy with here's an easy cut:
    This is over precise (as in, there are other ways you can do it), but this works so if you're furstrated run with it.

    Take whatever your proper caloric intake is now. (If you don't know, then go look up an online calculator, be sure to use one that take into account bf% and activity level, otherwise it will screw you up).

    Drop calories by 1/3. (Despite what people say, you can be more extreme, but why bother?).
    Divide those calories into x meals spaced 3 hours apart (2 if you want, but 3's easier for similar effect). But keep 300 calories aside for post-workout nutrition.

    The big thing? Make your meals mostly protein. And drop most refined carbs.
    Why?
    Your body will now begin cannabilizing itself (that's how losing weight works.)
    You want to minimize muscle loss, to whit you need to provide your body all the protein it needs so it can stick to canabilizing fat.

    I'm gonna assume you know your different proteins (e.g. whey isolate, vs casein, vs egg). Use them appropriately. (e.g. casein before bed, whey after workout).

    If you find you're really hungry, take ~ 1/3 of a serving of whey protein (servings are much too large - body usually can't process that much whey isolate that quickly) with a bunch of water.
    If you're aesthetics focused, drop salt to minimize interstitial water retention.
    If you have time and are in a hurry, throw in a few days of cycling for 1/2 an hour in addition to normal workouts.

    Do NOT drop % of calories from fat below 25%, at least not for an extended time (weeks). You can, but it appears to be quite unhealthy. Note that I say "% calories" not "% mass". Fat is roughly 2x as calorically dense as carbs and protein.
    Do NOT try to live off of smoothies and fruit. Those things aren't bad, but they're just sugar and vitamins. They do not make a healthy diet and you will lose more muscle than you should.

    Seriously, you can only mess up if you mess up. There's nothing complicated about it. Just eat less, keep working out, take in more protein than normal, and have lots of regular meals (or at least space protein-y snacks regularly). Count calories or you're probably gonna fuck up.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Oct 18, 2010 5:02 PM GMT
    Anto saidThat said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    I think this is the main reason for someone's appearance and athletic capability and why it's harder for a lot of people to get the body or fitness they would like when they are not as genetically predisposed as other people.
    That or help from drugs.


    Such bullshit.
    Genetics is one of the first refuges of scoundrels.

    Some things require a little extra mental effort for some people relative to others. And some things (such as shape of specific muscle groups or where you put on fat *if* you're fat) are partially genetic.
    But with major mutants aside it's all in what one does. Calories in calories out, is simplistic, but ultimately true. You're bucking against basic laws of physics. Outside of X-men genetics can't beat that. What's more your body does respond to exercise. Your body's ability to generate muscle in accordance with your physical needs is why you're alive right now. Athletics and fitness are just a natural product of that relationship. So unless you require constant medical supervision or are in a special medical textbook there's nothing stopping you from getting an age-appropriate, Men's Fitness level physique.

    People usually mess up nutrition and training or accidentally (or not accidentally) cheat, then blame it on genetics because it wasn't easy for them and of course it must be easy for everyone who is fit (for some people it is close to easy, but that's habit, not genetics - if they just sit around eating donuts they'll get fat too). People would blame financial debt on "genetics" if they could -- some people just watch their spending and don't spend what they don't make. Same with fitness.
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    Oct 18, 2010 6:57 PM GMT
    Do Crossfit.
    Eat clean (Paleo is pretty easy once you get into it).

    Don't worry so much.
  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Oct 18, 2010 7:23 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    Anto saidThat said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    I think this is the main reason for someone's appearance and athletic capability and why it's harder for a lot of people to get the body or fitness they would like when they are not as genetically predisposed as other people.
    That or help from drugs.


    Such bullshit.
    Genetics is one of the first refuges of scoundrels.

    Some things require a little extra mental effort for some people relative to others. And some things (such as shape of specific muscle groups or where you put on fat *if* you're fat) are partially genetic.
    But with major mutants aside it's all in what one does. Calories in calories out, is simplistic, but ultimately true. You're bucking against basic laws of physics. Outside of X-men genetics can't beat that. What's more your body does respond to exercise. Your body's ability to generate muscle in accordance with your physical needs is why you're alive right now. Athletics and fitness are just a natural product of that relationship. So unless you require constant medical supervision or are in a special medical textbook there's nothing stopping you from getting an age-appropriate, Men's Fitness level physique.

    People usually mess up nutrition and training or accidentally (or not accidentally) cheat, then blame it on genetics because it wasn't easy for them and of course it must be easy for everyone who is fit (for some people it is close to easy, but that's habit, not genetics - if they just sit around eating donuts they'll get fat too). People would blame financial debt on "genetics" if they could -- some people just watch their spending and don't spend what they don't make. Same with fitness.


    This.

    It ticks me off me when someone tells me I'm "lucky" that I've been able to keep the weight off and the muscle on. When I wake up at 5am to run 7 miles, that ain't luck.

    Forget the science. Work out very hard (most people don't), move your body a lot (most people don't), and eat only a healthy diet (you get the idea). This very scientific plan will give almost anyone a bangin' bod in no time.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Oct 18, 2010 7:40 PM GMT
    it's little bits of lots of things.

    my three biggest problems (the way I rate them) are:

    1. consistancy in workouts. somedays it's 8000 calories burned hiking or biking, somedays its 800 at the gym lifting weights. I do great when I consistantly do the latter, but go stir crazy and feel caged after a couple weeks of that.

    2. food misconceptions. at my core I can't get past the "food is love". i can work past it more days, i can keep the butter inaccesably frozen and I can keep the ice cream at the store, but every once and a while I binge.

    3. a slightly outta whack endocrine system. it seems to be just tweaked enough to make it a little harder to burn the the fat off and keep it off.

    I rate the first to as the hardest because they take the most effort on a daily baisis. the endocrine thing is just there to be worked around and can't be changed, so I just deal with it.

  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Oct 18, 2010 7:45 PM GMT
    nicelyproportioned said

    This.

    It ticks me off me when someone tells me I'm "lucky" that I've been able to keep the weight off and the muscle on. When I wake up at 5am to run 7 miles, that ain't luck.

    Forget the science. Work out very hard (most people don't), move your body a lot (most people don't), and eat only a healthy diet (you get the idea). This very scientific plan will give almost anyone a bangin' bod in no time.


    I share this sentiment. people say that i was luck to retire from the navy, no it was hard work. or that I'm lucky that my job lets me hike 6 hours a day, no, I got my job with my college education, a good resume and veteran's preferance points. None of which were delivered by Lucky the Leprechaun.
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    Oct 18, 2010 7:48 PM GMT
    nicelyproportioned said
    neosyllogy said
    Anto saidThat said, some people just are genetically predisposed to nice symmetry and distribution of fat or muscle. What your parents gave you is a huge component. The rest of the science is what you can control.

    I think this is the main reason for someone's appearance and athletic capability and why it's harder for a lot of people to get the body or fitness they would like when they are not as genetically predisposed as other people.
    That or help from drugs.


    Such bullshit.
    Genetics is one of the first refuges of scoundrels.

    Some things require a little extra mental effort for some people relative to others. And some things (such as shape of specific muscle groups or where you put on fat *if* you're fat) are partially genetic.
    But with major mutants aside it's all in what one does. Calories in calories out, is simplistic, but ultimately true. You're bucking against basic laws of physics. Outside of X-men genetics can't beat that. What's more your body does respond to exercise. Your body's ability to generate muscle in accordance with your physical needs is why you're alive right now. Athletics and fitness are just a natural product of that relationship. So unless you require constant medical supervision or are in a special medical textbook there's nothing stopping you from getting an age-appropriate, Men's Fitness level physique.

    People usually mess up nutrition and training or accidentally (or not accidentally) cheat, then blame it on genetics because it wasn't easy for them and of course it must be easy for everyone who is fit (for some people it is close to easy, but that's habit, not genetics - if they just sit around eating donuts they'll get fat too). People would blame financial debt on "genetics" if they could -- some people just watch their spending and don't spend what they don't make. Same with fitness.


    This.

    It ticks me off me when someone tells me I'm "lucky" that I've been able to keep the weight off and the muscle on. When I wake up at 5am to run 7 miles, that ain't luck.

    Forget the science. Work out very hard (most people don't), move your body a lot (most people don't), and eat only a healthy diet (you get the idea). This very scientific plan will give almost anyone a bangin' bod in no time.


    ^ : print and attach to computer monitor.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 19, 2010 3:49 AM GMT
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HERE
    Such bullshit.
    Genetics is one of the first refuges of scoundrels.

    Some things require a little extra mental effort for some people relative to others. And some things (such as shape of specific muscle groups or where you put on fat *if* you're fat) are partially genetic.
    But with major mutants aside it's all in what one does. Calories in calories out, is simplistic, but ultimately true. You're bucking against basic laws of physics. Outside of X-men genetics can't beat that. What's more your body does respond to exercise. Your body's ability to generate muscle in accordance with your physical needs is why you're alive right now. Athletics and fitness are just a natural product of that relationship. So unless you require constant medical supervision or are in a special medical textbook there's nothing stopping you from getting an age-appropriate, Men's Fitness level physique.

    People usually mess up nutrition and training or accidentally (or not accidentally) cheat, then blame it on genetics because it wasn't easy for them and of course it must be easy for everyone who is fit (for some people it is close to easy, but that's habit, not genetics - if they just sit around eating donuts they'll get fat too). People would blame financial debt on "genetics" if they could -- some people just watch their spending and don't spend what they don't make. Same with fitness.
    [/quote]

    I agree with you that people take too much refuge in the "genetics" part of their body type before putting all their effort in making the daily decisions to kick their ass at the gym, move more, run faster, longer, smarter, and say no to alcohol, drugs, and cake.

    However, because I maximize the discipline aspects that go into this personally (I am weird, but I am one of those disciplined people), and because I study this shit, I can say that the shape of my abs, which can lift 200 lbs on the crunch machine and do tons of calisthenic type crunch exercises consistently and do flips in gymnastics, my abs will never look like sixxpack (look him up, user on here). He has great symmetry thanks to mom and dad.

    Yes, calories in = calories out for weight gain and loss, but that does not determine distribution into muscle and fat. Fat takes energy to store (look up the equation), and muscle takes energy to create. Yes, it takes a lot of energy to gain the type of weight you want. Yes, you probably will put on fat if you do it all at once.

    People who do bulking and cutting phases don't realize that you are increasing the size of your adipocytes, which means your skin will also stretch. Good luck getting it all back to that nice cut look. My advice is to not do cutting and bulking (neither are healthy practices). Your high insulin levels will just further age your cardiovascular system by glycoslating your blood vessels faster, leading to your foam cell development earlier, leading to AGING earlier.

    Just workout and eat right. Don't bulk and cut. You won't ever get rid of the skin you stretched. Your body will add muscle when it is ready. Furthermore, who says just muscle mass is a good thing without strength? Why would you want to make your body more inefficient? That's more space that your heart has to pump blood to without functionality. The only thing extra weight does that is healthy is increases bone density due to more weight your body has to hold against gravity. Is this necessary? No. You are already resistance training. Enough is enough.

    Finally, you will reach your peak and you need to realize this. You need to be psychologically ready for that peak. You will not always become bigger and stronger. Sometimes you can just maintain. That is a GREAT place to be. You should not look to pharmaceuticals. They don't thoroughly test these things for messing with all kinds of physiological processes, liver processing, and cancer. They haven't even been around for a lifetime yet. Boy will we have a lot of mortality data to look at in 100 years thanks to all the drugs people ignorantly take right now without having even a biology degree.

    Also, for the guy who is doing roids just because the FDA states it will stimulate your pituitary? That is a whole can of worms you are opening. Do you even know how many processes will be affected by pharmaceutical pituitary stimulation? Get out of the take a pill and fix it view of health that the pharms have brought you up to believe. They're all crooks.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Oct 19, 2010 4:09 AM GMT
    Such bullshit.
    Genetics is one of the first refuges of scoundrels.


    Just as a person can blame their genetics for failure so can a person dismiss their genetics for success. Both cases can be a matter of protecting one's own ego and pride.

    Some people are just naturally leaner than others, burn calories better, can achieve better aerobic capacities, distribute fat differently, build muscle more easily, physiologically respond to exercise more effectively, etc.

    Some people don't have to monitor their diet like a scientist and they look fantastic whereas others have to be anal about everything they eat and how they exercise to achieve something similar - maybe.

    It's just a matter of fact that not everyone is the same. Yes, everyone can benefit from diet and exercise but even if everyone did it 'correctly' it doesn't mean they are going to get the same results as another person. For some people it's not even possible. It's not just about the the food one eats and the exercising one does, it's also about genetics, physiology, and anatomy. To ignore that is being irresponsible and can hurt a person's effort because it can be setting them up for failure that they then blame themselves for and get discouraged when it's something that's not even under their control to begin with.

    I've been in competitive sports since I was a little kid and just from observation of fellow athletes I could just see it in people. It's like observing animals that have been breed for certain characteristics. Those with the most desired traits did the best, diet and exercise was secondary. It wasn't just demonstrated in performance but also in appearance.

    Diet and exercise only optimize one's effort to reach full genetic potential. It also exposes what they are and where they might also fall short of what a person would like them to be.

    Example:
    Is exercise worth your time? Genes tell
    When you put in hours at the gym, you expect to get fitter. It turns out, that assumption doesn't hold true for everyone. A new study suggests specific genes may determine, at least in part, how much we really benefit from exercise.

    While " benefit from exercise" can mean plenty of things, from slimming down to boosting one's ability to complete a marathon, the researchers specifically looked at what is called VO2 max, or aerobic capacity. This is a measure of how much blood your heart pumps and how much oxygen your muscles consume when they constrict to, say, move your legs on a treadmill.

    Bottom line, VO2 max represents your endurance. And this study, detailed today in the Journal of Applied Physiology, suggests a group of 29 genes could potentially categorize individuals into low, medium and high responders to exercise.

    ...


    ^
    A lot of info here more directly:
    HERITAGE --Genetics, Response to Exercise, Risk Factors
    Introduction
    "It is widely recognized that individuals can respond quite differently to a given intervention, such as drugs, diet, or exercise. For instance, there are considerable individual differences in improvement in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max; measure of aerobic endurance capacity) with aerobic training.

    Studies conducted with young or older adults have typically reported gains in VO2max ranging from almost 0% to 50%, even though all the subjects completed exactly the same training program under close supervision. Scientists had previously assumed that these variations result from differing degrees of compliance with the training program, i.e., good compliers have the highest percentage of improvement and poor compliers show little or no improvement. However, it is now clear that even when there is full compliance with the program, substantial variations occur in the percentage improvements in VO2max values of different people. The same principle is also thought to apply to other physical activity-related phenotypes, including differences in response of the various risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Moreover, previous studies conducted with identical twins have suggested that heredity plays a major role in determining to what degree the body adapts to an intervention such as an exercise training program. All these data were available by the late 1980s primarily as a result of the research of C. Bouchard and his colleagues at Laval University in Quebec City when the planning for the HERITAGE Family Study began."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 19, 2010 4:16 AM GMT
    bluey2223 said
    Just workout and eat right. Don't bulk and cut. You won't ever get rid of the skin you stretched. Your body will add muscle when it is ready. Furthermore, who says just muscle mass is a good thing without strength? Why would you want to make your body more inefficient? That's more space that your heart has to pump blood to without functionality. The only thing extra weight does that is healthy is increases bone density due to more weight your body has to hold against gravity. Is this necessary? No. You are already resistance training. Enough is enough.


    ^^ Seriously...can I have your kids? It's good to see someone who shares similar ideology to health and fitness.