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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-07-2005, 07:29 PM   #1
Joe Miller
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Wasn't sure where to post this, but "fitness" seemed best.

I'm having an argument with a friend. He says it is impossible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. Basically he thinks that losing weight requires burning more calories than you eat and building muscles requires eating more calories than you burn.

I think it's true that you can't both lose weight and "bulk up" (gain weight) at the same time, because that obviously doesn't make any sense. But you can definitely go through a process where your body is dropping fat and you are building your muscles at the same time. I say this not based on scientific understanding but my own experience.

Here is an article he pointed me towards:
http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/2437.html

I'm curious -- am I wrong about this and he right? Or if he is wrong, does anyone have any good literature I could show him? Or any clear explanation of why he is incorrect? (Or can anyone explain to me why he is correct)?

Here is an
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:31 PM   #2
Joe Miller
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Oops - the title of this thread was supposed to be "increase muscle" not "in muscle." Sorry.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:45 PM   #3
Kalen Meine
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Wrong. Now, people often do gain and lose them together- often because they aren't, as the article put it, "mixing resistance and cardio"- in other words, they eat too much when they lift and too little when they run. But if you have damaged muscles in need of repair and desireous of growth, they will preferentially take up nutrients relative to their fat. And vomit inducing CF or other full-body, high intensity stuff theoretically causes you to release hormones and other assorted chemical goodies that also tip the balance in favor of muscle. I know quite a few people that have weighed in the same, or more, but were very, very obviously leaner, which necessitates losing fat and gaining lean mass at the same time.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:57 PM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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He says it is impossible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.
Difficult, but not impossible. But it's been done numerous times by numerous people.

Basically he thinks that losing weight requires burning more calories than you eat and building muscles requires eating more calories than you burn.

Ask a nutritionist this: if a pound of bodyfat is equal to 3,500 kcals of food, how many kcals does it take to gain or lose a pound of muscle? Be prepared for the nutritionist to look at you like you just grew three heads.
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Old 10-08-2005, 07:00 AM   #5
Larry Lindenman
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Most elite CFers started the Zone diet at 1X fat. This is a reduced calorie diet (from previous levels). It's common for CFers to gain slabs of muscle, while in the begining stages of the Zone (once most CFers get to 5-7% BF for male and 12-15% Female approx. they up fat blocks, sometimes to 5X which increases calories, a lot). The neuroendrocine response CF delievers, IMO, allows this to happen. Probably hard to do with your standard 3 days a week, 3X5-10 reps, "it's Motherf%$&* arms day", jog every other day program.
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Old 10-08-2005, 10:17 AM   #6
Guest2
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Is your friend from outer space? If he's getting his fitness/nutrition advice from alice, he's got some serious issues to resolve.

I'd say that it's actually most common for our clients to do exactly was Alice says is impossible - gain muscle while losing fat. That's exactly what freaks our women out so often - they step on a scale and see that they've gained 2 or 3 pounds. But we, and they, once we remind them, can SEE a huge drop of body fat.
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:57 PM   #7
Michael J. Joyce
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I have to echo Larry's sentiments. I have been following the Zone for three weeks. I already look leaner, am performing better, and I weigh about the same. I guess that means I have lost bodyfat and replaced it with muscle. And CF is the only program that I have ever been involved with that allows a person to do this without becoming either "joe endurance" or "joe bodybuilder."
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Old 10-09-2005, 05:16 AM   #8
Paul Symes
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Is it possible that the reason is that you're using stored bodyfat for energy rather than energy you've eaten?

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Old 10-10-2005, 05:57 AM   #9
Craig Van De Walker
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I remember working years ago at a gym in a small town. I put more than one female on a weight program where they lost clothing sizes at the same time their weight would stay the same or slightly increase. Once they really understood what was going on they were OK but freaked initially at the weight gain. Guys were just the oposite they could tell they were getting stronger and bigger muscles, but wanted to gain more weight. Once again results may vary and this is only for the motivated ones starting out "untrained" so to speak, that followed the workouts.

I know I have read actual scientific studies using "untrained college aged males" putting them on a weight program where they gained muscle and lost fat.

It is not the easiest thing in the world to do but it is possible!!!
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:05 AM   #10
Skip Chase
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Losing body fat as you gain muscle...it happens all the time!! When I begin training clients, it is the first topic I discuss with the client. The client is anxious to see weight loss, however, I tell them to stay off the scale for the first 30-60 days. There may not be any weight change in the first 30- 60 days, but their circumference measurements will decrease. As they are using and losing bodyfat, they are gaining muscle.
Me-March 2001- 180 lbs/16% body fat
June 2001 - 180 lbs/12% body fat
Aug 2001 - 180 lbs/10% body fat
Oct 2001 - 180 lbs/ 8% body fat
(body fat was measured via hydro testing)
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