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    Study: Bulking rates compared. 0.2% per week vs. 0.4% per week.

    This was new to me, a study comparing faster and slower gaining. I haven't fully read it yet but thought I'd share the results ahead.

    Full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...91.2011.643923

    Cliffs:
    - thirty-nine 'elite athletes' in diverse sports. Mostly males. Relatively new to hypertrophy training, 1 rm bench press ~1.1 x bw.
    - one group gains ~0.4% of their body weight per week follow a diet plan (NCG), other group gains ~0.2% per week eating ad libitum (ALG).



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    Good day Felicia Gxp23's Avatar
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    Interesting, will be a good link to give to people who are considering lean bulking.
    Eat the damn yolk.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    The mean protein intake was 2.40.4 gkg−1 for NCG and 1.70.4 gkg−1 for ALG
    I wondered if inadequate protein explained the difference but it doesn't look like it. It seems that they had maxed out their lean tissue growth potential somewhere between 0.2 and 0.4% gain per week.
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    Tayan Patel This study says it all: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23679146

    Copy pasta from Eric Helms:

    In summary
    70.7kg starting weight in fast weight gain group, they gained 2.7kg (3.8% of bodyweight) over 8-12 weeks (1.3-1.9% of bw/month)
    74.9kg starting weight in slow weight gain group, they gained 1.2kg (1.6% of bodyweight) over 8-12 weeks (0.5-0.8% of bw/month)
    Changes in 1RM bench press, bench pull and squat, not significantly different between groups, changes in LBM not significantly different between groups, changes in fat mass much higher in the fast weight gain group, 1.1kg of fat gained in 8-12 weeks in the fast weight gain group vs .2kg of fat gained in 8-12 weeks in the slow weight gain group.

    Let me help you gain some perspective on this, this study had 2 groups of athletes. Both groups maintained their normal sport specific training...then on top of that added 4 days of weight training...their baseline level was next to zero, so adding 4 sessions per week...that's a **** ton of new hypertrophy stimulus. Probably more than going from a pure strength block to a pure hypertrophy block and would definitely constitute drastically increasing volume. Again, these are folks with a lower training age than your average powerlifter since they are not specifically strength athletes, and despite that the group who gained at the rate x is recommending gained 5x the fat, the same LBM and the same strength as the slower group.
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    I've only had a couple sips of coffee, so excuse me if I've read the article wrong. The people who were eating as instructed, ate more and got fatter than the people who followed their own hunger cues, but they both gained the same amount of muscle?
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I wondered if inadequate protein explained the difference but it doesn't look like it. It seems that they had maxed out their lean tissue growth potential somewhere between 0.2 and 0.4% gain per week.
    The AL group consumed ~1g less protein. 2.4g/kgbw vs 1.7g/kgbw but it's self reported from recall...
    Last edited by muruku; 09-30-2015 at 06:49 AM.
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    Originally Posted by likeafish View Post
    I've only had a couple sips of coffee, so excuse me if I've read the article wrong. The people who were eating as instructed, ate more and got fatter than the people who followed their own hunger cues, but they both gained the same amount of muscle?
    That's the other interesting clue, this study could be explained as support for not counting calories.

    However, I think the more logical conclusion is that the surplus used in the NCG group was just too large.
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    Also I wonder if their sports specific training affected the results
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    Well yeah, I thought the conclusion of the study was eating more and gaining weight faster won't equal more muscle gains.

    You said you hadn't read it yet, so fyi, both groups goal was to put on .7% BW each week! If they had had their nutrition being adjusted by trial and error to meet this gain they would have ended up fulking! Poor NCG
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    🅾🅼🅴🅶🅰 🆆🅴🅰🅿🅾🅽 EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    P
    Originally Posted by muruku View Post
    Tayan Patel This study says it all: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23679146

    Copy pasta from Eric Helms:

    In summary
    70.7kg starting weight in fast weight gain group, they gained 2.7kg (3.8% of bodyweight) over 8-12 weeks (1.3-1.9% of bw/month)
    74.9kg starting weight in slow weight gain group, they gained 1.2kg (1.6% of bodyweight) over 8-12 weeks (0.5-0.8% of bw/month)
    Changes in 1RM bench press, bench pull and squat, not significantly different between groups, changes in LBM not significantly different between groups, changes in fat mass much higher in the fast weight gain group, 1.1kg of fat gained in 8-12 weeks in the fast weight gain group vs .2kg of fat gained in 8-12 weeks in the slow weight gain group.

    Let me help you gain some perspective on this, this study had 2 groups of athletes. Both groups maintained their normal sport specific training...then on top of that added 4 days of weight training...their baseline level was next to zero, so adding 4 sessions per week...that's a **** ton of new hypertrophy stimulus. Probably more than going from a pure strength block to a pure hypertrophy block and would definitely constitute drastically increasing volume. Again, these are folks with a lower training age than your average powerlifter since they are not specifically strength athletes, and despite that the group who gained at the rate x is recommending gained 5x the fat, the same LBM and the same strength as the slower group.
    Thx for posting.


    You can't out train bad nutrition but you can eat in excess of the ability to put on muscle? IDK it seems to take a lot of patience. LMAO, the one thing nobody has any of starting out.
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    So the common recommendation of 0.5lb/week for bulking seems a bit too high now for most of us.
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    Originally Posted by NotThereYet25 View Post
    So the common recommendation of 0.5lb/week for bulking seems a bit too high now for most of us.
    Name one elite athlete in this section and I'll give you a cookie. (You choose flavour)
    Eat the damn yolk.
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    Originally Posted by Gxp23 View Post
    Name one elite athlete in this section and I'll give you a cookie. (You choose flavour)
    Not sure why it matters?

    I was looking at the changes in fat mass. 0.4%/week was too high, 0.3%/week would have been too high as well according to the graph.
    You're saying regular lifters are less prone to gaining fat when bulking at this rate compared to elite athletes?
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    Elite athletes, but not elite lifters.

    Originally Posted by NotThereYet25 View Post
    So the common recommendation of 0.5lb/week for bulking seems a bit too high now for most of us.
    As you know it depends on many factors.

    If we take an average trainee of 170 pounds:

    0.2% per week would be 0.34 pound per week.
    0.4% per week would be 0.68 pound per week.

    Unfortunately the recommendation 0.5 pound per week hasn't been investigated in this study. I think it could still be a good recommendation in many situations.

    I like 1-2 pounds per month for people that are more advanced.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Elite athletes, but not elite lifters.



    As you know it depends on many factors.

    If we take an average trainee of 170 pounds:

    0.2% per week would be 0.34 pound per week.
    0.4% per week would be 0.68 pound per week.

    Unfortunately the recommendation 0.5 pound per week hasn't been investigated in this study. I think it could still be a good recommendation in many situations.

    I like 1-2 pounds per month for people that are more advanced.
    I'm just guessing here...but I assume that if they were investigating 0.3% per week instead of 0.4% per week, it would have looked something like that:



    Which suggests that 0.3% is too large of a surplus as well.
    For an average trainee of 170 pounds that would equal 0.5lb/week.
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    Originally Posted by NotThereYet25 View Post
    Not sure why it matters?

    I was looking at the changes in fat mass. 0.4%/week was too high, 0.3%/week would have been too high as well according to the graph.
    You're saying regular lifters are less prone to gaining fat when bulking at this rate compared to elite athletes?
    No, but regular, less "experienced" lifters could be prone to gaining more lean mass than someone who I can only imaqine has been training for a majority of their life if they are considered "elite"

    Athletes with a long history of heavy strength training may have less capacity for increasing LBM and strength
    .

    But then again the athletes in this were relatively new to hypertrophy and were of a diverse range.

    Considering the results in previous study, we speculate that 200–300 kcal per day surplus may be more appropriate than 500 kcal per day for the elite athlete if an increase in FM is not advantageous for the athlete or the sports specific performance.
    200-300 is kinda what is recommended here on average for a 0.5lb gain a week in an individual who has at least made some gains, to maximise muscle and minimise, ofc you could eat less, but would it be optimum for muscle gain?

    Athletes with a long history of heavy strength training may have less capacity for increasing LBM and strength
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    Originally Posted by NotThereYet25 View Post
    I'm just guessing here...but I assume that if they were investigating 0.3% per week instead of 0.4% per week, it would have looked something like that:
    That's not a bad guess imo, but keep in mind that these athletes already had some muscle mass and strength to begin with. Their average 1rm squat was ~250 pounds (!).

    I think 2 pounds per month still makes sense for people newer to lifting weights.

    For people more advanced, between 1-2 pounds per month.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    That's not a bad guess imo, but keep in mind that these athletes already had some muscle mass and strength to begin with. Their average 1rm squat was ~250 pounds (!).

    I think 2 pounds per month still makes sense for people newer to lifting weights.

    For people more advanced, between 1-2 pounds per month.
    This, besides, you can always cut afterwards, this is bodybuilding, not elite athlete camp.
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    Originally Posted by Gxp23 View Post
    200-300 is kinda what is recommended here on average for a 0.5lb gain a week in an individual who has at least made some gains, to maximise muscle and minimise, ofc you could eat less, but would it be optimum for muscle gain?
    Looking at the data here and the study, it does seem that for at least a semi-experienced to experienced lifter, .5lb could be too high. But then again, it wasn't specifically covered and to me still feels like a reasonable recommendation.

    Also, like you said... for an absolute new lifter, I'd definitely aim to gain at .5lb or maybe even a little higher, as it's a rare time where the body kind of defies typical limitations.

    Interesting study..
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    That's not a bad guess imo, but keep in mind that these athletes already had some muscle mass and strength to begin with. Their average 1rm squat was ~250 pounds (!).

    I think 2 pounds per month still makes sense for people newer to lifting weights.

    For people more advanced, between 1-2 pounds per month.
    Agreed... I wasted a full post, gotta type quicker lol
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    Originally Posted by Slow-N-Steady View Post
    Looking at the data here and the study, it does seem that for at least a semi-experienced to experienced lifter, .5lb could be too high. But then again, it wasn't specifically covered and to me still feels like a reasonable recommendation.

    Also, like you said... for an absolute new lifter, I'd definitely aim to gain at .5lb or maybe even a little higher, as it's a rare time where the body kind of defies typical limitations.

    Interesting study..
    It is, but like Mrpb mentioned there are many factors here. 0.5lbs a week might be a little high yes, but that depends if the person gaining actually cares, 0.3-0.4lbs a week might not be enough for maximum muscle gain, 0.5lbs may or may not be either, but I would rather go with the 0.5 to be sure, but thats just me, like I said, saying its "too high" or "too low" doesnt really mean much unless its aimed at an individual and their own personal goals.
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    Originally Posted by Slow-N-Steady View Post
    Agreed... I wasted a full post, gotta type quicker lol
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    Originally Posted by Gxp23 View Post
    It is, but like Mrpb mentioned there are many factors here. 0.5lbs a week might be a little high yes, but that depends if the person gaining actually cares, 0.3-0.4lbs a week might not be enough for maximum muscle gain, 0.5lbs may or may not be either, but I would rather go with the 0.5 to be sure, but thats just me, like I said, saying its "too high" or "too low" doesnt really mean much unless its aimed at an individual and their own personal goals.
    Yea I get that, and I tend to lean towards the same perspective. Some of this really just comes down to partially overthinking/perfecting things. I'm personally looking to gain about 1.5-2lbs/month come winter.

    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Strong username for the thread content.
    Lol that was why I chose the name..
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    Originally Posted by Slow-N-Steady View Post
    Yea I get that, and I tend to lean towards the same perspective. Some of this really just comes down to partially overthinking/perfecting things. I'm personally looking to gain about 1.5-2lbs/month come winter.



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    Great article, thanks for posting. Just time time for bulking season, too.
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    In the table it looks like the faster bulk resulted in a bit more LBM gains (albeit nonsignificant). There's an important caveat to this: the faster group was eating a lot more calories and carbs. So they had fuller glycogen stores which shows up as increased LBM. This could easily explain the difference in LBM and performance. If they had compensated for this (by using a lead in diet for example) I think the differences probably would have disappeared.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    In the table it looks like the faster bulk resulted in a bit more LBM gains (albeit nonsignificant). There's an important caveat to this: the faster group was eating a lot more calories and carbs. So they had fuller glycogen stores which shows up as increased LBM. This could easily explain the difference in LBM and performance. If they had compensated for this (by using a lead in diet for example) I think the differences probably would have disappeared.
    How were the gains measured? CBA looking through link again, just if you know off hand.
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    Originally Posted by Gxp23 View Post
    How were the gains measured? CBA looking through link again, just if you know off hand.
    DXA scan.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    DXA scan.
    Assumed so. Thanks.
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    This study makes sense to me, glad to see some numbers put to it. According to Dr. Michael Colgan "because of the limiting rate of turnover in the muscle cells it is impossible to grow more than an ounce of new muscle each day." I haven't found the study to go with that quote yet and I'm sure it varies by the size of the subject but as a baseline that seems reasonable. If true here is the breakdown for a 180lb trainee:

    ALG group rate: 0.36lb per week
    Max synthesis rate: 0.44lb per week
    Anecdotal Bodybuilding rate: 0.50lb per week
    NCG group rate: 0.72lb per week

    So basically the ALG group were doing a slow lean bulk while the NCG group were doing a very dirty bulk, I think the results are exactly what we would expect. I suspect the optimum rate is somewhere between 0.2%-0.3%.
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