by Ben Pakulski
You want more muscle? A lot less bodyfat?
Imagine if you could learn the secrets to completely transforming your physique? Pack on 10 pounds of lean muscle while dropping 10 pounds of fat — you’d jump at it, right? So would 95% of males.
Everyone wants to be more muscular and a bit leaner. More impressive. More manly.
This universal desire has sparked a massive, multiBILLION dollar industry. Guys around the world want to build muscle in the fastest way possible, and every bro who’s ever built 10 pounds of muscle now fancies himself an “expert” and offers their advice on how they did it.
Listen, even a chimpanzee can add 10 pounds of muscle eating enough bananas every day. This doesn’t mean the next diet craze should be smashing bananas and swinging from trees, right? So don’t be fooled.
Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’s what you should be doing. You may not have the genetic predisposition to gain muscle – most people don’t — and blindly following the wrong plan could lead you to a flabbier, softer, unhealthy physique.
Here’s the problem. Most men are attempting to build their body based off information they learned in high school gym class, or worse, from reading muscle magazines where the genetic elite resides.
Yes, I am one of those guys in the magazine, but I’m sure not genetically blessed. I grew up well over 20% bodyfat and not a single person in my family (still to this day) works out or is under 25% bodyfat. Hell, none of them even eat halfway healthy.
It’s been an uphill battle for me. One filled with countless failed bulking strategies and excessively harsh cutting phases. But after years of education and experimenting with every nutrition protocol under the sun, I’ve finally figured it out, the key to building muscle while losing fat.
It’s not easy – far from it – but it is simple. And in this series, I will teach you everything you need to know!
Now I know you’ve heard this pitch before. And you’ve been burned, right?
Don’t feel foolish – you’re not alone.
Misinformation is one of the biggest setbacks to people looking to build any muscle. Every guru has an opinion or “secret trick” to share with you, yet no one ever seems to offer the WHY of building muscle, the big picture.
That’s because they don’t have a flipping clue. They only know what works for them or their best clients. What they know might help you, or it might not. It very likely will just leave you fat and frustrated.
The good news – I’m here to do the opposite. Not only will you learn the absolute BEST protocols for transforming your physique, but I’m going to back it up with honest science and hard facts.
Bulking — How NOT to eat for muscle growth.
One of the biggest misconceptions in bodybuilding is the bulking period. The myth that you must pack on a ton of weight during your bulking period, no matter what it’s made up of, and then spend months dieting off the fat. What you’re left with is your “net gains,” which most experts say should be around 7-8 pounds a year.
This strategy has been used by some of the top pros since the late 80’s. Guys would pack on massive amounts of weight in the off-season, to the point that they were almost unrecognizable. They’d then spend month after month stripping off the fat during their painful contest prep, only to step on stage a few pounds heavier than their previous show.
I’m no mathematician, but putting on 80 pounds of bodyweight and then hitting the stage a measly 5 pounds heavier doesn’t seem that efficient, and it definitely doesn’t sound healthy.
(Bodybuilders from the late 80’s and early 90’s have been plagued with heart disease and kidney issues. Most attribute these issues to steroid abuse, which could be a factor, but both ailments are also highly correlated with weight fluctuations… something to consider!).
There are many things wrong with this approach.
The goal is to gain as much muscle as possible. This requires you to optimize testosterone, insulin, IGF-I (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) and GH (Growth Hormone) with your training and diet.
Bodyfat accumulation, considering it’s effect on these hormones, is one of your worst enemies when it comes to achieving success on a bulking program.
5 Big, Fat Problems With Bulking
1. Increased bodyfat raises levels of aromatase enzyme (aromatase is created in fat cells) in your body.
Aromatase is the nasty enzyme your body uses to take testosterone and other androgens, whether natural or synthetic, and turn them into estrogens.
So aromatase is actually taking your strongest muscle-building hormone (testosterone) and turning it into a fat storing, craving inducing hormone spoken about endlessly in infomercials and talk shows — estrogen!
There are drugs available to combat aromatase, but most actually cause suppression of growth hormone and IGF-1. This means that you have to choose — do you want testosterone or growth hormone? The truth is, you need both to pack on lots of muscle!
2. Bodyfat increases low grade inflammation.
Short bursts of inflammation, like those produced during training, are necessary to signal the recruitment of satellite cells, stimulate growth factors to be released, and activate the recovery process.
Without this inflammation, we’d get no new muscle cells.
Constant low grade inflammation actually makes it harder for you to initiate this repair process as you become resistant to the signaling mechanism — this is because it’s always on, like a constant nag, so your body starts to ignore it.
As a result, for one, you get less recovery from the resistance training you perform. Therefore you have a harder time recovering, and definitely won’t build muscle as efficiently.
The other thing low-grade inflammation causes is a constant elevation of cortisol and blood sugar in the body. When this situation exists, it means more fat storage and decreased insulin sensitivity. So now it’s harder for your body to move nutrients into those muscle cells, and you’re storing even more fat!
Starting to see how someone can gain 80 pounds and only end up with a net gain of 5 pounds of lean mass?
Finally, elevated cortisol levels lead to an increase in SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). SHBG binds to free sex hormones (testosterone) in the blood and makes them inactive.
All said and done, packing on extra bodyfat makes it almost impossible for testosterone to do its job! This is why gaining fat can lead to a feminizing effects on males.
3. Bodyfat can recycle cortisol, which results in the cortisol remaining active for longer than it’s intended to be.
How does it happen?
Fat cells, especially around the midsection, contain an enzyme called 11β- HSD-1 (11-β Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase-1). The hormone cortisol is in its metabolically active form, but can be converted into the metabolically inert cortisone.
As fat mass increases, your fat cells increase 11β- HSD-1 activity, which in turn recycles cortisone back to cortisol. Now don’t be fooled, fat cells are not just inert sacks of lipids waiting to be used. They’re among the most hormonally active tissues in the body, and are extremely selfish when they get out of control.
This reactivation of cortisol is how fat cells try to feed themselves. By recycling cortisone to cortisol, your fat cells are causing a constant elevation in blood sugar so that they can use that circulating sugar to increase their fat stores.
4. Increased bodyfat can bring about insulin resistance.
This means more work for your pancreas and less nutrients able to enter muscle cells, hence why carbs can result in making you fatter, faster. High insulin sensitivity is one of your best friends when bulking because it means you can shuttle more nutrients into your muscles.
It’s not just about how much food you can put in your mouth, or even how much your digestive system can absorb. Those things are important, but the most important factor is how much and how fast you can get nutrients into the muscle cells you are trying to feed. If you can’t get the nutrients in there, they have to go somewhere — and that somewhere is usually fat storage.
So the problem gets worse exponentially as bodyfat goes up!
This last point is both scientific and anecdotal. Frequent overeating sounds great when you’re on a diet, but after about two weeks of stuffing down calories, it can actually become miserable. This is because you’re constantly producing leptin.
Leptin is the opposite of the hunger hormone ghrelin. When you eat, your fat cells produce leptin in response to receiving nutrients in order to signal you to stop eating. This is upregulated with high insulin meals. So when you’re constantly overfeeding, your body is basically fighting you with a hormone signal that destroys your appetite.
Now, you may think that willing yourself past the force of leptin is something you can do, but is it something you should do?
I say no! Just like insulin resistance arises when you produce too much insulin too often, so too can you develop a resistance to leptin. Trust me, this is a can of worms you don’t want to open. It’s the gateway to morbid obesity in the average population.
Without leptin, you enter a state where satisfaction can never be found. You never feel full, and constantly feeling the need for more. Now that may sound like a good idea for a bulk, but this doesn’t happen two weeks in — it happens right about the time you need to start dieting down.
Sounds fun right? Let’s start a diet right when you put your body in a state of insatiable hunger that will never end. This is how people end up on the “forever bulk” program. They damage their body to a point where they’re not gaining muscle anymore, but the thought of cutting back on calories just seems unbearable.
Hopefully by now you’re convinced that traditional bulking methods that have you packing on fat are not only bad for you, but aren’t even that effective for putting on muscle, they just don’t make sense physiologically.
So how should you bulk then?
Good question. What if I told you that, despite all the reasons traditional bulks are unhealthy and ineffective, you can still follow a type of “bulk” and experience phenomenal gains?
Fact is, what you are about to learn is without question the most powerful training and nutrition system ever developed.
With this protocol, you add muscle almost effortlessly, and fat gain is minimal. The majority of lifters actually get much leaner.
Yes, leaner – on a muscle building bulk.
>>Check out the next article in the series.
>>>Click HERE for my complete cyclical bulking formula
Get my best tips on building maximal muscle based on your body type >>Click Here<<
Learn from the Muscle Expert on THIS episode of the podcast with the transformation specialists Muscle Expert Ben Pakulski and Mark Coles of M10 Fitness