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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 06-08-2006, 08:18 AM   #1
Joe Cloutier
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Okay well I've been reading around these boards for a few weeks before I actually decided to register. You guys all sound like a very informative community and this looks like one of the best fitness forum I've visited. Anyways, on to my questions.

I've seen that the Zone diet was recommended a lot over here. Had never heard about it before visiting this forum so I looked into their website to get the general idea. I'm not exactly a beginner in training and nutrition as my age would tend to suggest, and right now the diet I'm following is a loose 55/30/14 (carbs/prots/fats), in the form of a 3500+ kcal/day bulking regimen. Has been working great for the past year (gained about ten pounds of lean mass with a negligible increase in my body fat) but I've recently hit a plateau. I keep stuffing enormous amounts of paleo-friendly foods into my stomach, train even harder, but the results are not coming any more. So I figured a change in my diet would help.

There a two things I considered after reading your forums for a while:
1- Switching to the Zone
2- Applying IF to my current diet

I'm a bit scared about the Zone though, mostly because of this weird block system. I know it's supposed to make it simpler but it's just adding to my confusion. And also because from the Zone website I take it that it is meant to be a weight loss diet. I'm 150 pounds, 8-10% body fat and I clearly do not wish to lose weight right now. It's been hard enough to get there (damn you, ectomorphic metabolism!). So would consuming more blocks than they recommend work as a bulking diet too?

And those intermittent fasting protocols also seem VERY interesting to me. It just makes sense, not like all these stupid diets that make you eat unbalanced macronutrient profiles to "get as huge as a Neanderthal". Has any one tried it for extended periods of time? Does it work for bulking?

Thanks in advance people!
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
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the zone wpould be a move in the right direction for you simply because it would lower your carb and increase your fat intake. but it's not magic. bottom line is that you need more protein and more fat.

your ability to gain weight has to do with your training too--you may be doing too much and/or the wrong things.

regarding IF and training protocol for mass gain, that is part of a mass gain article that will be out in the next Performance Menu (issue 17 - out June 15th) (www.performancemenu.com).

for now, though, bump your protein up to as high as 3g/lb/day - yes, that's ridiculously high. Get a ton of fat--coconut milk, olive oil, avacado, nuts/seeds. and tons of green leafy vegetables with every meal. then post training throw in a bunch of yams with some protein, and every 3rd to 5th day, have a carb freakout.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:33 AM   #3
Jeffrey Crawford
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Greg,
What kind of carbs do you recommend all the high carb days
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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yams/sweet potatoes and high glucose:fructose ratio fruit, e.g. grapes. you want to avoid fruits with lots of fructose--it'll top off your liver glycogen and any remaining will stored as body fat. glucose will preferentially replenish muscle glycogen instead.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:06 PM   #5
Joe Cloutier
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Okay great.

So essentially drop all the carbs coming from grains and the like, replace them with fruits/veggies, and go overkill on the fat and proteins... I think I can do that. My post-workout shake generally consists of a whey protein shake blended into some chocolate milk.

As far as training goes, I'm doing a 3-day split, 6 times per week that goes like that:
Day1 - Biceps/Triceps/Back/Abs
Day2 - Legs
Day3 - Shoulders/Pecs/Abs

And I just took a week off to rest up a back injury I got while practicing parkour, if anyone knows what it is. I'm training this evening for the first time in 5 days.. I'll see how it went.

Thanks for your help, Greg.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:25 PM   #6
Mike Minium
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Joe,

If you wanna get big, you need to change your workout routine (food is key, but the exercises you do also matter).

Try ditching the segmented style bodybuilding program and replacing it with heavy (relative to your own max) squats, deadlifts, presses, cleans, snatches, etc.

The isolation-based exercises you're likely doing (I'm reading between the lines a tad since I don't know the actual exercises you're doing, only the general areas of your body you're trying to target, which is a misguided approach, but also a whole different conversation) aren't going to elicit a big enough hormonal response to trigger muscle growth.

Look for AnthonyB's training log that's posted on this site (he combines 5x5 with the WOD) and read the forum--lots of good information out there.

Mike

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Old 06-08-2006, 01:39 PM   #7
Joe Cloutier
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I'm already doing squats, deadlifts and presses and I generally try to pick the most compound movements I can. Like for triceps I'll do some close grip bench press.. not cable push-downs. I've realised long ago that isolation exercises were not leading anywhere and I'm planning to start doing the olympic lifts too. I just need someone to teach me good form.

So yea, I suppose my workout prog. could get better too. The bodybuilding style program has worked quite well so far though, but I want to move on to something different just for the sake of trying something else.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:56 PM   #8
Mike Griffith
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Joe,

Any training regime is productive for only a certain amount of time. You have not indicated how long you have been on this program but part of the decrease in productivity may be that your body has adapted to your training.

One must alter these variables:
Exercise selection
Order of exercises
Rest period between sets
# of reps
# of sets
Speed of the rep
Weight used

Our bodies grow, become stronger and improve or deteriorate during the rest cycle of training. Are you resting adequately to facilitate your goals? Could you be over trained?

The Zone diet laid out initially is a weight reduction diet. Pay attention to the total number of blocks and the number of fat blocks prescribed for you. If these are to low you will lose muscle mass and body fat. Take in consideration how fast your metabolism is and how much activity you do daily. This includes your workouts as well as your other daily activity.

Good Luck,
Mike

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Old 06-09-2006, 07:20 PM   #9
Joe Cloutier
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Thanks Mike.

You're probably right. I've started training at around 13 or 14 (now almost 18) and I've always used the bodybuilding style program. Although I did change frequently the exercises. I noticed however that the periods where I got the most growth were those periods were I was not sticking to a plan, but simply randomizing every work out while making sure to over-eat every day. My metabolism allows me to eat very large amounts of food while not gaining any significant amount of body fat so at least I don't have to commit to a very strict diet to avoid gaining fat.

It's very possible that I'm in an overtrained state as well... I've got two injuries that never really healed. One of them happened in september 2005 (acute tendinotis in both shoulders as a result of doing too many and too heavy weighted chin-ups) and the other progressively built up over the past months (lower back pain). I'm thinking it's partly because my technique for deadlifts is not perfect and partly because I might be doing a bit too much parkour.

I'll try to get everything back in order this summer...

Thanks for your help everyone.
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