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Posted by Barry on Jul 10, 2015

Always Learning

As I have been “in shape” for the past several years now I am always trying new training methods and nutrition methods as I read and learn from the latest information in the fitness industry.  One of the “new methods” I tried over the winter was after years of continuing to eat lean I decide to try to “bulk up” and see how much muscle mass I could put on.

So I increased my caloric intake and followed a plan to try and put on more muscle mass.  While I did put on more muscle mass I also put on more weight then I had been carrying for the past couple of years and learned a very important little nuance to the “bulk up” plan.  While the plan works well for most it does not work as well if you are older, as in over 35 years of age.

What I learned more recently both in my personal practice of trying to gain mass and from continued research is that what I had been doing in the past was the best way for me to continue to put on mass.  Slow and steady versus trying to accelerate the process for a short time.  Take a look at the cut out from some of the research I found.

I GAIN TOO MUCH FAT WHEN I GAIN MASS

Most older people can gain weight quite easily, but it’s usually more fat than muscle. The more weight they put on—despite working out—the worse the ratio seems to get.

This conundrum is thanks to less-than-ideal insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well the body metabolizes carbohydrates. Insulin sensitivity tends to decline naturally with age, so the older you get, the more uphill this battle becomes.

 

A SLOW-AND-STEADY APPROACH, INCLUDING LOTS OF FIBER AND GOOD FATS AND FEWER SIMPLE CARBS, IS A FAR BETTER APPROACH TO BUILDING MASS OVER TIME WHILE MAINTAINING GOOD INSULIN SENSITIVITY AND STABLE BLOOD SUGAR.

SOLUTION

Leaner people tend to have better insulin sensitivity than overweight people, so the first order of business is to get lean and stay lean.

For lifters over 35 years of age, I advise against “bulking,” or going on a mass-building phase. Period. A slow-and-steady approach, including lots of fiber and good fats and fewer simple carbs, is a far better approach to building mass over time while maintaining good insulin sensitivity and stable blood sugar.

The caveat is that when trying to gain muscle, you’re going to need a calorie surplus and be okay with a little fat gain. Just know when to say when. Once your four-pack becomes a blurry two-fer, consider switching to a fat-loss phase.

This is exactly what I experienced in my on little experiment over the winter and why when I went out on “Barry’s Floating Fat Camp” I went into a Fat Shredder workout/nutrition phase and cut my percent body fat and lost over 12 lbs.

So as with anything in life you need to keep learning and trying new things to find out what works.  Because what worked today might not work tomorrow!

Floating Fat Camp FTO-02E1_1

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