1

votes

Eating to add Muscle Mass is bad for you?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Hi Guys,

It seems like calorie restriction is well accepted to strengthen the immune system and to improve longevity.

Does this mean that eating with a calorie surplus to add muscle mass is bad for you?... especially over the long term?

After adding muscle mass over a period of say 1 year to get to the level you desire, are you able to retain that mass with a calorie restriction diet or will you slowly lose it that way?

Cheers

Oz

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 07:48 PM

I guess clean/dirty bulk is more of an idiom since I can't find many articles on it, D.K. They're just the terms my trainer always used. I've bulked on carbs before, and I did get bigger but not much stronger. I seem to respond better to a lower carb regiment. I'm sure it's different for everyone.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 07:39 PM

A dirty bulk is when you take in as many calories as you can without caring about the quality or quantity to put on mass fast. You usually put on a lot of fat as well. A clean bulk is when you only eat enough calories above your maintenance to remain catabolic and build muscle. It takes a bit longer, but you stay relatively lean.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:15 PM

"Dirty bulk" sounds really naughty.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Mice studies are what most people are using as their CR evidence, though.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on August 31, 2012
at 04:13 PM

^ all of the studies on calorie restriction are talking about mice or worms. That was a useless comment.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on August 31, 2012
at 03:00 PM

in my experience, when trying to gain muscle mass, it's easier for me to gain when i'm eating a lot of carbs from fruits and tubers. i'm trying to gain weight now but at a very gradual pace so i'm not really counting anything other than protein and just eating whatevers around whether its potatoes, eggs, bananas, honey, hamburger, chicken, nuts, etc. and just making sure i get my fill and then some but not overly stuffing myself on one macronutrient or another (i do keep protein high on most days though).

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:50 PM

Yeah, it's just talking about mice, though. Not humans.

531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:30 PM

I've never heard of these terms "clean bulk" and "dirty bulk". Is there more info somewhere else on these terms? A couple years ago before I ate paleo, I was bodybuilding with a very high carb diet. I gained a lot of muscle mass in a short time. Unfortunately, when I had my cholesterol measured, my triglycerides were sky-high and my HDL was below 15. I was eating 3 bowls of cereal in the morning, tons of bread at lunch, and all kinds of carby things at dinner. Luckily I got a hernia soon after which made me stop all this extreme eating and made me start all over again post-surgery.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 09:32 AM

+1 Interesting article. I had never seen this study.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

8 Answers

7
Medium avatar

(10663)

on August 31, 2012
at 08:41 AM

First of all, calorie restriction may not be all it's cracked up to be: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-9726.2009.00533.x/pdf

"Eating with a calorie surplus to add muscle mass" is in no way bad for you, especially if you do it the right way. I think that may be the only way to increase muscle mass, and if you only plan to do that for a year, what's there to worry about?

And I don't think restricting calories would retain all that muscle mass you worked hard to build up. Maybe unless it was high-protein, in which case, you would probably be crossing into PSMF territory.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on August 31, 2012
at 04:13 PM

^ all of the studies on calorie restriction are talking about mice or worms. That was a useless comment.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 09:32 AM

+1 Interesting article. I had never seen this study.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:50 PM

Yeah, it's just talking about mice, though. Not humans.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Mice studies are what most people are using as their CR evidence, though.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 01, 2012
at 06:33 AM

The surplus calories should be based on protein.

Once you return to caloric restriction high intensity training with weights should minimize the amount of muscle lost, however, this is largely also dependent on endocrine function and age.

1
Medium avatar

on August 31, 2012
at 10:36 AM

For me the whole thing about calorie restriction is one of those cases where attention is drawn away from the main factor.

When caring about longevity I do not believe that calorie restriction is not that much important. I believe it has much more to do with metabolism. I always thought (sorry, no article link) that people with lower metabolism tend to live longer. I do workout but I am concerned about bulking too much because I believe that a high-calorie burning body is like a big fire consuming everything faster.

On the other hand I do not remove sport to keep my metabolism low thinking I will live longer. The key is moderation and we all need to stress our bodies to keep them healthy. Even if there is a connection with lower longevity, I would rather give up some years of my life if I can live the others stronger and with a more functional body.

1
E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

on August 31, 2012
at 09:21 AM

April S. is absolutely right. You NEED to be on a calorie surplus if you want to gain muscle. The only exception to this are the very untrained, and the very overweight. Once you are done bulking, you can go on a cutting phase and restrict calories, but like April said, you have to do it the right way. Keep carbs low, eat plenty of fat and protein, and maybe add some muscle-sparing BCAAs.

Another option is to clean bulk. Find out what your basic caloric needs are, and add a surplus of about 300-500 calories/day while keeping carbs low. It'll take longer, but you won't put on all of the fat that you would on a dirty bulk.

I've been on a VLC clean bulk for about 7 months at around 2800-3000 calories/day and have put a lot of lean mass. Sometimes it's hard to put down that many calories, especially since fat and protein are so satisfying, but it's worth it to avoid having to cut so much later. I've also noticed that I am stronger when I clean bulk vs. dirty.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 07:39 PM

A dirty bulk is when you take in as many calories as you can without caring about the quality or quantity to put on mass fast. You usually put on a lot of fat as well. A clean bulk is when you only eat enough calories above your maintenance to remain catabolic and build muscle. It takes a bit longer, but you stay relatively lean.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on August 31, 2012
at 06:15 PM

"Dirty bulk" sounds really naughty.

531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on August 31, 2012
at 01:30 PM

I've never heard of these terms "clean bulk" and "dirty bulk". Is there more info somewhere else on these terms? A couple years ago before I ate paleo, I was bodybuilding with a very high carb diet. I gained a lot of muscle mass in a short time. Unfortunately, when I had my cholesterol measured, my triglycerides were sky-high and my HDL was below 15. I was eating 3 bowls of cereal in the morning, tons of bread at lunch, and all kinds of carby things at dinner. Luckily I got a hernia soon after which made me stop all this extreme eating and made me start all over again post-surgery.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on August 31, 2012
at 03:00 PM

in my experience, when trying to gain muscle mass, it's easier for me to gain when i'm eating a lot of carbs from fruits and tubers. i'm trying to gain weight now but at a very gradual pace so i'm not really counting anything other than protein and just eating whatevers around whether its potatoes, eggs, bananas, honey, hamburger, chicken, nuts, etc. and just making sure i get my fill and then some but not overly stuffing myself on one macronutrient or another (i do keep protein high on most days though).

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 31, 2012
at 07:48 PM

I guess clean/dirty bulk is more of an idiom since I can't find many articles on it, D.K. They're just the terms my trainer always used. I've bulked on carbs before, and I did get bigger but not much stronger. I seem to respond better to a lower carb regiment. I'm sure it's different for everyone.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on August 31, 2012
at 10:27 PM

There is a delicate balance between gaining and maintaining muscle and getting the benefits of metabolic flexibility. There is science out there to back up both of these things.

  1. More muscle mass is healthier and increases longevity. By avoiding disease and staying ambulatory longer will lead to longevity. Obviously there is a genetic component here, but this is pretty much a common theme with the folks we see today who have lived really long. They stay active and are void of many of the neolithic diseases.

  2. Calorie restriction increases longevity. The big factors here seem to be better blood glucose control, less insulin-secretion over a lifetime, better hormone balance and less overall tax on the body's metabolic function. There are studies that do point to this being less legit than thought, but there is definitely still some merit to the stand-alone idea.

This is where Paleo is a beautiful thing. Not only can one achieve #1 by training smartly (heavy and intense enough, not too much volume), but they can also get the best out of #2 by limiting glucose spiking and optimizing hormone levels. In essence, I think Paleo is a way to accomplish BOTH ideas without making them out to be mutually exclusive.

0
2336245491a87ee15d4fb8f8f8283909

(1173)

on August 31, 2012
at 02:35 PM

I like IF over calorie restriction...I can gain muscle and still keep my bodyfat low By just eating more...If you eat clean, adding muscle is in no way bad for you.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 31, 2012
at 11:18 AM

Most of the studies have shown that, for men, IF is far superior to calorie restriction.

That being said, there is no need to add significant muscle mass for normal day-to-day living. It is far more important to have a low body fat to lean body ratio than it is to have lean body magnitude.

There are also people who suggest that the "bodybuilder" physique is taxing on your total system, but I've never seen a drug-controller study of that (that is, one where all the participants were naturally big).

So I would suggest that it is not BAD for you, nor is in necessiarly beneficial to you. your body fat percentage will tell you more for healthy than your total lean body.

-2
C012d2a56b9d4223e41a535879271d42

on August 31, 2012
at 08:48 PM

I tryed to Gain Muscle Mass 3 years ago ... but I'm kind of lazzy when it comes to cooking ! ... And eating healthy was important. Laziness gave in and I stopped training... but 3 months ago I discovered a full equiped Shake that can be taken as a meal and also the most complete protein shake for after training !!! Hellooo it was the perfect thing for the lazzy boy I was LOL ! I'll give you the info for the web site : http://www.defitavie.myvi.net ... I take the Fit Kit ! Go see ! ;) Oh and by the way, my girlfriend and I are also doing a Web Reality Show of our Body Transformation ... We are doing a summary each week : https://apps.vi.com/vistar/channel/637141252 HAVE FUN watching !

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!