Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Answers to Gain Weight Queries

Great comments Charlie Mikers! A couple of generic comments before I address specific issues. First, this is part 1 of a two part post. Second, most of the comments regarding weight gain were posed by younger athletes (teens) that were having a difficult time trying to gain weight - so keep that in perspective. Finally, nothing has ever, or will ever, replace proper nutrition. If you want to re-read the questions, check out the comments to my Part 1 post.

Joe G.: Everyone has a six pack - you just can’t always see it. Typically, for men, your abs start to show when your body fat is under 12% - better around 10%. For women it is a little more. To put this in perspective, the male model for the perfect push up is under 7% body fat. The best way to measure body fat is hydrostatic testing - immersion in a tank. Electronic impedance testing and calipers will also give you a baseline BF measurement.

Paul: I agree. It is absolutely possible to lose fat and gain muscle. People do it all the time. However, it can be very difficult for a novice to dial in their nutrition to the point where they maximize muscle gain without gaining excessive fat as well. As you pointed out, it is all about discipline with nutrition. Check out the second part of my post.

Jim: As Paul points out, you can gain muscle and be extra lean – but you have to watch your nutrition religiously. It also takes longer to build a pound of lean muscle mass that it does to pack on 1 lb of fat. So the gains take a bit longer to achieve. Finally, supplements aren’t inherently bad – as a matter of fact, they can be immensely helpful in achieving your fitness objectives. If used correctly and in the context of proper overall nutrition they are great. Much more on this later.

Mike Ryan


Joe G. said...

I am looking forward to your input on supplements because I know you're dedicating your business to it, and it is a great debate (meaning, a healthy debate); i.e., whether or not people need supplements. I see both sides. The way I learned it after talking to about a hundred different doctors is it depends on LOTS of things. For example, are you really circumspect about what you eat (very few people are)? Are you thinking LONG-TERM (anybody can live on celery for a few weeks), etc., etc. Are you young, middle-aged, old, active, sedentary? These questions are always KEY!


Alden Mills said...

Borrowing Alden's handle here!

Joe, great posts. I will be doing multiple segments on supplements in the late Nov / Dec timeframe. I have other blog topics to post first! I will keep you posted on when they run! Thanks for the comments.

Mike Ryan

Jim said...

Yes, Mike I agree with you that correct supplementation can boost performance and may not be harmful.
I believe that the best would be following a PROPER dietary plan making sure one takes all necessary nutrients but even nowadays that food is so easily accessible and abundant we tend to mal-nourish ourselves so yes, supplements can help.
A personal experience, I've had eye-surgery a couple of years ago and the doctor prescribed me some pills to take in order to help my eyes heal. The pills contained Omega-fats, the ones found in fish, nuts, etc.
When I was told what the pills contained I was laughing at myself for not having eaten fish for a long time ending up with the tablets.f
Great blog by the way! Keep it up!