Muscle mass and ab visibility

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2007 7:13 AM GMT
    I am simultaneously trying to gain muscle mass (especially in my arms and chest) while trying to get a six-pack abs. I realize that abs are best visible when body fat percentage is very low (below 7%?) so I try to eat healthy foods without a high fat content, but I realize this probably robs my body of calories I could be using. I usually drink some whey protein after working out and try to get a good amount of calories throughout the day.

    Any advice as to gaining optimal muscle mass while keeping body fat percentage low for visible abs?
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    Mar 12, 2007 6:04 PM GMT
    Knowing this post will get a number of varying reponses, I will share my experience. 3 years ago I was 145 lbs with a decent six pack. I have since put on 20lbs and lowered my body fat from 18% to 10%.
    The key for me was to raise my caloric level while maintaining a heavy muscle building workout. All or most of my calories went to muscle building and not to fat storage.
    Remember, genetics is everything. I am naturally slender, and though my ab definition may have decreased slightly in order to "bulk" up, I was happy with the trade off.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 15, 2007 10:07 AM GMT
    a good set of abs is more about bf% than muscle mass...
    if you're bulking they're gonna go away for awhile but when you lower the cals...and stay away from the fatty foods they're likely to come back
  • sportsman1800

    Posts: 3

    Apr 15, 2007 1:23 PM GMT
    Here is a suggestion on weight gain . Eat grains such as quinoa this grain has all the amino acids that meat has, it is NASA's choice for astronauts and to be grown on Mars for future colonies. other grains are barley, millet, brown rice, amaranth is the strongest flavored nutty and has most natural oils for you, it also happens to be hardest to cook takes long. Look online for cooking directions at google its easy really just takes patience. All are great protein supplements or replacements. best of luck hope you enjoy them. I am trying to gain in the same areas as you. My problem is a high metabolism, compete alot in sports and little time to eat 5 meals a day. Its working for me but slowly. carlos
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    Apr 15, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    Keeping your protein up will help keep you anabolic (preserve your mass).

    Fairly low carbs, and bunches of cardio, will keep the fat at bay.

    Unless you're taking some AAS, likely, you aren't going to make gains if you do a ton of cardio. Some cardio will help gains, however.

    There's no magic pill. You have to experiment with what works best for you. What works for a 46 year old meso-endo (like me), often doesn't work for a 18 year old endo-meso (like maybe you). Genes can play a huge role in what your approach should be.

    Understand, guys in the mags have great genes, great coaching, great supps. They're taking AAS, they've got good coaching, and, they day of their shoots, they're dry to the bone (no excess water). That look is by design, but, it's hard to keep for more than a few days at a time.

    Be careful of following into the gay anorexic trap. While being fat, smoking, using a lot of red drugs, is very ugly, understand, starving yourself to look like a guy full of juice, and diuretics, on the day of a photo shoot, is just craziness. Most folks DON'T look like a million bucks ever day, and probably shouldn't.

    Nothing is worse than looking at a starving gay guy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 24, 2007 8:49 PM GMT
    Eat clean and understand that muscle mass is built best in caloric surplus. Losing fat is done best with caloric deficit. Therefore, trying to do both at the same time is hard and may result in you getting nowhere.

    If you want muscle, build the muscle first. Then worry about the six pack later. A muscular guy with a slightly soft midsection, or just abs that arent visibly cut, is more attractive/healthier looking than a skinny guy who only has abs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2007 11:36 PM GMT
    Just like Thumper's mom says...."every pound of lean muscle burns 15 calories every day just sitting there. The easiest way to get lean it to get bigger and stronger and to be more of a man."

    Course, Thumper's mom was high when she said it, but, makes sense to me.
  • boysexyxxl

    Posts: 12

    Feb 28, 2012 8:01 AM GMT
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2012 8:39 AM GMT
    Every day I agree with chuckystud feels like one day closer to madness.

    Anyway, besides the lies of advertising you might wanna have a look at someone like this http://rippedbody.jp/2012/02/13/client-stories-scott-new-zealand/ - calorie (carbs) surplus on workout days, calorie deficit on rest days. High protein every day.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Feb 28, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidKeeping your protein up will help keep you anabolic (preserve your mass).

    Fairly low carbs, and bunches of cardio, will keep the fat at bay.

    Unless you're taking some AAS, likely, you aren't going to make gains if you do a ton of cardio. Some cardio will help gains, however.

    There's no magic pill. You have to experiment with what works best for you. What works for a 46 year old meso-endo (like me), often doesn't work for a 18 year old endo-meso (like maybe you). Genes can play a huge role in what your approach should be.

    Understand, guys in the mags have great genes, great coaching, great supps. They're taking AAS, they've got good coaching, and, they day of their shoots, they're dry to the bone (no excess water). That look is by design, but, it's hard to keep for more than a few days at a time.

    Be careful of following into the gay anorexic trap. While being fat, smoking, using a lot of red drugs, is very ugly, understand, starving yourself to look like a guy full of juice, and diuretics, on the day of a photo shoot, is just craziness. Most folks DON'T look like a million bucks ever day, and probably shouldn't.

    Nothing is worse than looking at a starving gay guy.


    yeah there is! A short, fat, roided, unattactive blad guy who looks way beyond his years posted hereicon_idea.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2012 5:07 PM GMT
    sportsman1800 saidHere is a suggestion on weight gain . Eat grains such as quinoa this grain has all the amino acids that meat has, it is NASA's choice for astronauts and to be grown on Mars for future colonies. other grains are barley, millet, brown rice, amaranth is the strongest flavored nutty and has most natural oils for you, it also happens to be hardest to cook takes long. Look online for cooking directions at google its easy really just takes patience. All are great protein supplements or replacements. best of luck hope you enjoy them. I am trying to gain in the same areas as you. My problem is a high metabolism, compete alot in sports and little time to eat 5 meals a day. Its working for me but slowly. carlos


    I love quinoa and it's easy enough to cook, just need to watch it. I haven't tried amaranth yet other than in cold cereal flakes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2012 5:16 PM GMT
    Very important info, thanks guys!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 29, 2012 1:41 AM GMT
    I'm trying to gain and stay lean also. When I started about a month ago, my body fat was around 5% and my abs were definitely popping. My goal is to put on 15-20 lbs, and so far I've put on about 10. My body fat has gone up about 1% every two weeks (caliper test in multiple places), so I'm still in the single digits; and while not quite as prominent, I still have my six pack. I'm eating about 3800 calories per day in 6 meals and a post-workout shake. I try to get the vast majority of my fat from monounsaturated sources like olive or coconut oil and nuts. This is what I'm eating:

    Carbs (40%)
    sweet potatoes
    oats
    quinoa
    kidney beans
    leafy green veggies (as many as I can!)
    carrots
    blueberries
    bananas

    Proteins (40%)
    boneless/skinless chicken breast
    lean ground turkey
    egg whites
    greek yogurt (plain -- even the vanilla one has added sugars)
    whey protein powder
    fish (should have more of this than I do, but I also supp with fish oil)

    Fats (20%)
    olive oil
    coconut oil
    almonds
    flax seed

    I'm planning to work some brown rice in there because I miss rice, but quinoa is a good substitute. Sweet potatoes are a GREAT carb source because they're nutrient and calorie dense. I think more than anything though, getting fats from the right sources has been key as well as knowing EXACTLY how many calories I'm getting so I can tweak it up and down if I'm not gaining as fast as I want or if my body fat starts to creep. I use an Excel spreadsheet with a database of my foods for this and happy to share if you're interested.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 29, 2012 1:58 AM GMT
    Everybody is different, but it all comes down to the right diet and the right training methods. Trial and error is key when it comes to weight training.

    I've been bodybuilding for a few years now, and I am quite lucky to have decent genetics. I can eat pizza, burgers, ect, without getting fat, but it is tougher to actually put on size when I want it. But one thing I did find out is gaining mass and keeping your abs is 'almost' impossible, especially without aas usage like chuckystud said. So, your best bet is to do one then the other.

    Option1) Bulk up, then cut down with a high protein diet, so you can try and keep the size that you did gain (depending on if you put on quality mass or fat).

    Option 2) Or, if you want that "summer body", diet down until you have the abs you want then "clean bulk" until your desired size. I personally find clean bulking tedious and a lot harder than it needs to be.
    So I would say option one would be ideal, but it is all up to you.

    Ps. Abs are overrated haha. Mass>Abs. If you can put on some quality size/mass without getting that huge belly, that looks a lot better/impressive than being smaller with lean muscle and ripped abs icon_smile.gif Just my preference I guess.
    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 29, 2012 2:13 AM GMT
    Sounds like you are doing it. I'm lean and have the same goal as you. I work-out two hrs/day and 6 days/wk (with yoga on the 7th day). Out of the 2 hrs, 1.5 is weight training and 1/2 hr is cardio. Plus, I watch what I eat (i.e. high protein & fiber diet) and take two scoops of weigh protein every day. I find that I'm gaining lean muscle while shredding the fat. Try it; it may work for you.