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How long would it take me to gain 3 lbs of muscle?

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Replies

  • AJ_G
    AJ_G Posts: 4,159 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    AJ_G wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    It's well-nigh impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I agree with the majority here, gain the muscle, if your body is like mine, that will add your 3lb muscle and 1lb fat, then work on losing that 1lb of fat. Or lose weight first to make room for the muscle you want to add. It's hard hard to grow muscle without, well, growing. Especially if you are already lean.

    The cult of bulk/cut is getting ridiculous!

    I like how you think it's a cult lol. It's scientifically factual. There is an energy cost associated with building muscle mass and your body will build muscle much more readily when surplus energy is available. If you think that's cultish, then I worry for you lol.

    Thanks, I understand the science very well.
    I also understand that it's totally ridiculous for everyone to do bulk / cut cycles. Just as it would be wrong to suggest recomp is suitable for everyone. Individual goals and capabilities should determine strategy not herd mentality.

    Have a stab at estimating how much difference in percentage terms being in the typical slow bulk mode of half a pound a week weight gain will make. That's just 10 - 11 calories an hour extra by the way. Whoopeee!

    I have never ever seen someone break down a calorie surplus into an hourly figure lol. You're kinda reaching on that one man. A calorie surplus is a calorie surplus. As I mentioned before, there is an energy cost associated with building muscle, so if excess energy is available to your body and you're doing everything that you should be (lifting heavy, consuming sufficient protein, etc), then you will readily build muscle. Yes you can build muscle during a recomp, but because that energy surplus isn't there, it's a much slower process. Is bulking and cutting right for everyone, obviously not. There are people out there who used to be obese or very overweight and are now in a normal weight range. The idea of bulking to that type of person is probably terrifying, so recomping might be the way to go for them, but for those who can get past that mental hurtle, bulking and cutting is going to be the more efficient way to go for sure.
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,325 Member
    edited June 2016
    2 years of recomp for me. (Typo in my previous post). From 18% body fat to 7%. Weight remaining within a 5lb range (175-180lbs). What's that math work out to on muscle gain vs fat loss?

    And I'm an old guy at 38...
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    edited June 2016
    AJ_G wrote: »
    jemhh wrote: »
    AJ_G wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    It's well-nigh impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I agree with the majority here, gain the muscle, if your body is like mine, that will add your 3lb muscle and 1lb fat, then work on losing that 1lb of fat. Or lose weight first to make room for the muscle you want to add. It's hard hard to grow muscle without, well, growing. Especially if you are already lean.

    The cult of bulk/cut is getting ridiculous!

    I like how you think it's a cult lol. It's scientifically factual. There is an energy cost associated with building muscle mass and your body will build muscle much more readily when surplus energy is available. If you think that's cultish, then I worry for you lol.

    There are plenty of studies showing the recomp effect. I've yet to see a study indicating thathat recomp is impossible or close to it.

    Where in any of my posts did I say that recomping is impossible or close to it? All I said was that it's painfully slow relative to the traditional bulk/cut, which it absolutely is. Yes recomping can be effective given enough time, and yes it is a good option for those who are afraid to put on weight during a bulk, but it's also the absolute slowest way to gain muscle, that's all I'm saying.

    It may be slow but define "painfully slow" and compare it to the length of a bulk/cut cycle that ends in the same body composition. Visit the recomp thread and you'll see pictures from women showing a year of progress and the difference you see is great. Compare that to a bulk/cut cycle for a woman.

    An average woman gains "between 0.12 – 0.25 pounds of muscle per week (or about 0.5-1 pound of muscle gained per month)" [ source]. While gaining that, bulking women, from my understanding, gain about an equal amount of fat. Let's say she does an 8 month bulk, gaining 6 pounds of fat and 6 pounds of muscle, based on an average of .75 pounds of each (plus likely some water weight which I will ignore.) After that 8 months, she's going to have to diet off the 6 pounds of fat. After the first week when the initial water weight is shed, she'll lose .5-1 pound per week. It'll probably be on the lower end of that but let's say it's .75 lbs. That's at least 8-9 weeks to cut 6 lbs for the average woman who has only that little amount to lose. So approximately 10 months for the bulk/cut in order to gain 6 pounds of muscle.

    I'd like to see the muscle gain figures for a woman who has consistently been working on recomp for a year. Once you figure in the physical changes possible in a year plus the psychological side effects and frustration of adding fat and going through the cutting process, I don't think that bulk/cut comes out that much farther ahead. Certainly not far enough ahead to describe recomp as a "painfully slow" process in comparison.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    It's well-nigh impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I agree with the majority here, gain the muscle, if your body is like mine, that will add your 3lb muscle and 1lb fat, then work on losing that 1lb of fat. Or lose weight first to make room for the muscle you want to add. It's hard hard to grow muscle without, well, growing. Especially if you are already lean.
    @robininfl
    Sorry but the bold is completely wrong. Recomposition is a totally normal reaction to stimulus, faster in people new to training but still happens even in trained individuals.
    It's still worked for me in my 50's after decades of training.

    The cult of bulk/cut is getting ridiculous!
    It used to be the sole preserve of body builders and now people seem to think human physiology has changed and everyone under the sun has to do it even with very modest goals and no time imperative. Potty!

    You can't literally turn fat into muscle, right? Your body needs a deficit to lose weight and a surplus to build anything, recomp is doing this in small increments so you don't notice any swing in weight?
  • TitaniaEcks
    TitaniaEcks Posts: 351 Member
    How does "cut then bulk" work? I would lose the 3 lbs of fat first and then lift while eating more or drinking protein shakes or something? That sounds better than the reverse for me. I'd rather initially go under by 3 than over. Although, yeah, I have time to kill and am generally happy with my body. No rush.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    How does "cut then bulk" work? I would lose the 3 lbs of fat first and then lift while eating more or drinking protein shakes or something? That sounds better than the reverse for me. I'd rather initially go under by 3 than over. Although, yeah, I have time to kill and am generally happy with my body. No rush.

    If you have excess fat you cut and then bulk and then cut again because bulking involves adding muscle and fat. If you're already at a good body fat level, you'd skip the initial cut and just bulk and then cut.
  • moxiept
    moxiept Posts: 201 Member
    Good info here. I have about 10 more lbs to lose then would like to work on recomp. It's interesting to see the pros/cons of recomp vs bulk/cut strategies
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,066 Member
    robininfl wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    It's well-nigh impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I agree with the majority here, gain the muscle, if your body is like mine, that will add your 3lb muscle and 1lb fat, then work on losing that 1lb of fat. Or lose weight first to make room for the muscle you want to add. It's hard hard to grow muscle without, well, growing. Especially if you are already lean.
    @robininfl
    Sorry but the bold is completely wrong. Recomposition is a totally normal reaction to stimulus, faster in people new to training but still happens even in trained individuals.
    It's still worked for me in my 50's after decades of training.

    The cult of bulk/cut is getting ridiculous!
    It used to be the sole preserve of body builders and now people seem to think human physiology has changed and everyone under the sun has to do it even with very modest goals and no time imperative. Potty!

    You can't literally turn fat into muscle, right? Your body needs a deficit to lose weight and a surplus to build anything, recomp is doing this in small increments so you don't notice any swing in weight?

    @robininfl

    You can't literally turn fat into muscle, right?
    Correct - but that's not recomp is, no-one is suggesting alchemy. It's the simultaneous loss of fat (using stored fuel for energy) and building of muscle (reaction to training stimulus).

    Your body needs a deficit to lose weight and a surplus to build anything
    Nope - you don't need a surplus. Building muscle is a totally normal everyday reaction to stimulus, you need an excessive calorie deficit to stop that, you certainly don't need a calorie surplus.
    Your body is constantly shuttling energy into and out of energy stores and reacting to training stimulus - it's the way we work, basic human biology. Doesn't have to be forced.
    That's not saying recomp is as fast a way to build muscle as being in a bulk - but bulking comes with a penalty of fat gain and depending on the person the ratio of muscle to fat gained (P-ratio, which is mainly genertic) will vary wildly. So for some bulking/cutting will be optimal for others it will just mean getting fat with minimal gains and then having to cut the fat down again.

    recomp is doing this in small increments so you don't notice any swing in weight?
    Not sure what you are driving at here? There are recomp protocols of calorie/nutrient cycling if that's what you mean but that's totally optional and more suited for those with elite composition goals. I just eat at maintenance, train and the results of increased strength/performance is changes in my body composition over time. Lifting heavier, riding my bike faster and further are my training aims - recomposition is a nice side benefit and it's worked fine despite being 56 and with four decades of training behind me.


    Worth a read if you want to learn more.....
    http://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/calorie-deficit-gain-weight/

  • Fursian
    Fursian Posts: 482 Member
    LaMartian wrote: »
    It also depends on how long you've been lifting. If you haven't been lifting for months / years, you can gain that much in a month. If you've been lifting nonstop for 3 years, it could take six months or more.

    Fascinating. Why is this?
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,066 Member
    edited June 2016
    AJ_G wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    AJ_G wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    robininfl wrote: »
    It's well-nigh impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I agree with the majority here, gain the muscle, if your body is like mine, that will add your 3lb muscle and 1lb fat, then work on losing that 1lb of fat. Or lose weight first to make room for the muscle you want to add. It's hard hard to grow muscle without, well, growing. Especially if you are already lean.

    The cult of bulk/cut is getting ridiculous!

    I like how you think it's a cult lol. It's scientifically factual. There is an energy cost associated with building muscle mass and your body will build muscle much more readily when surplus energy is available. If you think that's cultish, then I worry for you lol.

    Thanks, I understand the science very well.
    I also understand that it's totally ridiculous for everyone to do bulk / cut cycles. Just as it would be wrong to suggest recomp is suitable for everyone. Individual goals and capabilities should determine strategy not herd mentality.

    Have a stab at estimating how much difference in percentage terms being in the typical slow bulk mode of half a pound a week weight gain will make. That's just 10 - 11 calories an hour extra by the way. Whoopeee!

    I have never ever seen someone break down a calorie surplus into an hourly figure lol. You're kinda reaching on that one man. A calorie surplus is a calorie surplus. As I mentioned before, there is an energy cost associated with building muscle, so if excess energy is available to your body and you're doing everything that you should be (lifting heavy, consuming sufficient protein, etc), then you will readily build muscle. Yes you can build muscle during a recomp, but because that energy surplus isn't there, it's a much slower process. Is bulking and cutting right for everyone, obviously not. There are people out there who used to be obese or very overweight and are now in a normal weight range. The idea of bulking to that type of person is probably terrifying, so recomping might be the way to go for them, but for those who can get past that mental hurtle, bulking and cutting is going to be the more efficient way to go for sure.
    @AJ_G
    Re. the bolded...Why LOL?
    Not a "reach" just trying to provoke thought with the hourly calorie breakdown - what you believe makes such a dramatic difference is really a tiny, tiny change.
    I guess I'm about 15% BF (no idea really) so at my weight that's 24.6lbs of fat or 86100 calories. Plenty to fuel the small energy cost of building muscle.

    At 26 you are getting beyond the "golden years" period but still have lot's of growth potential so yes cut then bulk is probably best for you if you want to get big.
    Certainly not best for me at 56 even though I'm not obese and don't have any weight gain terror! (That bit did make me LOL - thanks!).

    You have very set beliefs for someone so young - just trying to gently challenge those beliefs and put them in a wider context. Beware that there's a big fashion element in training and like HIIT, wandering around gyms with protein shakers in hand and bulk/cut cycles are also in fashion.

    But the basics of muscle growth don't change....

    Ronnie Coleman — 'Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-*kitten* weights.'

  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,325 Member
    Eric Helms talks about it in one of his latest videos. We are constantly in a state of flux between surplus and deficit. You eat a 500 cal meal? You're in a surplus for a while. You wake after 8 hours sleep, you're in a deficit. I believe lending a bit more credence to meal timing. I have just started a 16:8 IF protocol to test this theory.