Weight training, building muscle Last Post 06 Dec 2009 09:17 PM by George. 8 Replies.
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Rick

New Member
Posts:2

 21 Aug 2009 02:25 PM Some friends recently started on the Zone diet and suggested it to me, as well. They loaned me the book The Zone, and I’ve begun following the recommended caloric proportions of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and the rest fats. That sounds reasonable enough. Yet I'm concerned about the recommended caloric intake. The book provides a method of calculating protein requirements based on lean body mass. The formula is LBM x Activity Factor (.8 for me: active 1 hr / day, 5 times / wk), according to which my protein requirement would probably be somewhere between 120 and 130 grams per day. Then, using the above percentages to figure carbs and fat, I come out with a total of around 1,600 or 1,700 calories: protein calories = protein grams x 4; carb calories = protein calories * 4/3; fat calories = protein calories. I weigh about 185 lbs, with an estimated body fat percent of 15-18. On a non-active day, I appear to burn between 2,300-2,400 calories, based on the feedback I get from my bodybugg device. On an active day (cardio, weights, perhaps yard work, etc.), it's not uncommon for me to exceed that amount by 1,000 calories or more. So I guess I'm not understanding how a diet of 1,700 calories per day could be enough for me--particularly if I want to put on more muscle. Even if I used my actual weight, rather than LBM, in the calculation, it would still come to only 148 grams of protein, leading to fewer than 2,000 total calories. What am I missing? Thanks. --Rick
Matt

Basic Member
Posts:309

 21 Aug 2009 02:49 PM When you are in the Zone and no longer using carbs for energy and start using fat for energy it is much more efficient. You no longer require the same amount of caluries due to the ATP production from fat being better than that from carbs.Don't get stuck exactly at 40-30-30. You need to find your Zone. I know it goes against what we have been taught in the past but it is being used much more widely than you can imagine at this point. Also try to stick with whole foods as much as possible. Pick from the favorable or best foods list. Once you find your Zone you may want to up your protein a little since you want to up your LBM. Primitive CrossFitWhere Fitness & Nutrition Evolve
Rick

New Member
Posts:2

 21 Aug 2009 03:59 PM Thanks, Matt. Will have to look into finding my Zone. I'm a lot better at doing numbers than having a feel for how my body is responding to something. Out of curiosity, I did the calculations again but with an extreme situation: I used my actual weight instead of LBM. The result was a protein allotment of 148 grams (185x.8), which leads to a recommendation of 1973 calories--still substantially fewer calories than I currently need. And it's my understanding that more, not less, calories are burned for each pound of muscle added. So if one had little or no fat stores and was still eating fewer calories than the body was burning, where would the body get the necessary energy? Wouldn't it have to burn muscle? That's what worries me.
Diego

New Member
Posts:47

 22 Aug 2009 08:24 AM There's another theory, for those that do body-building / weightlifting, stating you should eat 1gr of Protein per Pound of weight. Some people even do 1.5gr. With that in mind you'd be eating 185gr a day of protein, slightly more than the calculations gave you, and then balance the carbs and fat accordingly.As Matt has said, this form of eating is far more efficient than the simple "I need so many calories a day" theory, simply because the reactions the body has according to the balance of food is totally different than if it weren't balanced. Is it the same to eat 1000 calories of chicken breast than it is to eat 1000 calories of assorted sweets? Do you think your body would react the same to both foods? This is something I've seen few people emphasize on, and especially those that come from a weights / athletic background seem to not understand.Also, for energy levels not to decrease, up your fat intake 2X or even 3X.It takes a week or two to be fully in the Zone for the first time, but after that you can miss a zone meal and the next meal you'll be back in if you balance things out again.Good luck and if you need some more help you know where to find us Diego
David

New Member
Posts:34

 02 Sep 2009 03:23 AM
So if one had little or no fat stores and was still eating fewer calories than the body was burning, where would the body get the necessary energy? Wouldn't it have to burn muscle? That's what worries me.
I'd say yes. 1. Remember the Zone block recommendations are based on a muscle mass maintenance diet. If you want to increase muscle mass Dr Sears recommends increasing the diet with ONE block. 2. Dr Sears recommends compensating for any calorie deficit with monosaturated fats rather than changing your protein requirement (and consequently your corresponding number of blocks). Please see Mastering the Zone, where he references so called Olympic Athlete diets. 3. So in short, the basic formula still holds. There are four reasons to increase the number of blocks: a) You increase the number of blocks based upon increased activity level. b) You increase your daily requirements by ONE block if you want to build muscle. c) For energy, increase the monosaturated fat content of your diet beyond the blocks. You could try doubling the fat content. d) Furthermore you increase your block requirements as you increase your lbm. That being said, I don't know whether the Zone diet is the ideal muscle gain diet available. Dr Sears claims that your recuperation will be faster and hence you will benefit from faster progress.
Diego

New Member
Posts:47

 02 Sep 2009 07:43 AM I would still insist on upping the blocks more than 1. I've upped it as much as 4 blocks, and my body fat has NOT increased. I've put on quite a bit of muscle mass as I'm doing the starting Strength program right now and it calls for a drastic increase in food intake. Then again this is a very hard on the body program after week 3-4 and anything extra is almost mandatory. This is so because it has such an impact on the CNS that it also increases your metabolism to pre-pubescent levels If you eat more than you need that will always be better than eating less. Also, some CrossFitters increase fat intake X5, but I think they are the elite athletes. Normal human beings like you or me can make do with 2X and 3X and get through life without dragging our hands along the floor Good Luck!Diego
Mike

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Posts:1

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teja

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Posts:1

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George

New Member
Posts:38

 06 Dec 2009 09:17 PM Zone is great; I love it. However if your main goal is to add muscle, I don't know if a 40-30-30 split is optimal. What I did with the Zone is substituted all my carb blocks to fat blocks. When this stopped working I changed it around basically and went to 3300-3500 calories on workout days, 2500 on non or cardio only days and followed a TKD approach (carbs only post workout, and they are high glycemic; about 85-100 grams worth). The rest was broken up 50% protien and 50% fat. And guess what? I dropped more bodyfat, and increased my muscle mass (my bodyweight only dropped a pound) and increased my overall strength by 15%. Please don't think I am saying the Zone doesn't work; it does. It helped bring my body fat percentage down over 33%. I owe it my life basically. However for the goal of LBM you outlined, I don't know if the Zone is the best way.