Poll

How do you exercise?

Nope
10 (16.9%)
Basketball /  tennis /baseball / football/ your basic sports
7 (11.9%)
Long distance / endurance / aerobic primarily
3 (5.1%)
Full body, high intensity/short duration, resistance/strength training
25 (42.4%)
Heavy weights / powerlifting / gym rat
14 (23.7%)

Total Members Voted: 39

Author Topic: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking  (Read 29765 times)

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Offline Guittarman03

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Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« on: April 21, 2009, 08:10:29 am »
This thread is dedicated primarily to the discussion of high-intensity strength training and muscle building.  I'd like to hear from the long distance/endurance side of the house as well, but I don't want the convo to break down into a debate between the marathoners and gym rats.   

That said, I go back and forth between heavy weights (heavy for me that is) and lighter weight, fully body, high intensity exercises (crossfit type stuff).  I lean more towards weight lifting though, as I'm generally trying to add muscle mass - losing excess fat is a piece of cake on a very low carb diet. 

I posted the poll b/c I'm curious what kind of exercise you guys do, to see how many others have the same fitness goals as myself, and to share different thoughts and strategies on how best to to achieve those goals.  I'll skip talking about what to do in the gym, as there is already tons of info out there on the what why and how.  Instead I'd like to talk about diet and rest. 

Rest:  Has anyone noticed a decrease in recovery time with RP?  I've gotten to the point where I notice my biggest gains are if I work the same muscle groups rather close together, sometimes consecutive days.  I know it's said that you should only work each muscle group once a week, but I notice slow and sporadic gains when I try that.  I don't think I've ever tried something like upper body 3 or 4 days in a row though.  Anyone ever try that?  What are your experiences with varying amt of rest between workouts?

Food:  Here is where there seems to really be some conflicting advice, esp with low carb paleo type eating.  The debate seems to center around muscle glycogen and insulin.  I'd like to share some things I've read about insulin and human growth hormone, as well as a strategy for maximizing gains (I just started doing this), and see if anyone has tried it before or can share more info.

So when we work out we spend muscle glycogen for immediate energy.  HGH is secreted and ends up primarily in the muscles being worked, sometime at the end of the workout to an hour after.  Now conventional wisdom says that at the end of a lifting session, it is necessary to immediately replenish muscle glycogen and spike insulin to put the body into an anabolic state (taking in and storing nutrients), thus the protein smoothies and whatnot.

But I've been reading that insulin actually reduces HGH, and if you eat sugars/carbs before or after lifting, you can basically kiss your growth hormone goodbye.  Instead, it's better to work out on a completly empty stomach, not eat afterwards until you get hungry, and when you are hungry to eat protein and fat but no carbs.  The idea is to keep your body in ketosis: a state where you burn fat instead of sugar to obtain energy.  Incidentally it seems very in line with a paleo mindset to go hunting (exercise) because you are hungry and on an empty stomach.

So the idea is to put you body into ketosis for 5-6 days per week, and then to carb load for 24-36 hours.  In this period you want to reduce your fat intake while upping the carbs.  The idea is this period will rapidly increase muscle glycogen for the following week (which I buy), the insuline spike will cause your body to store protein and begin muscle synthesis (which I also buy), and that despite insulin's generally negative effects on HGH, that your levels will actually surge (which I might not be able to buy w/o a good explanation).  And because you are doing that for only 1 day, you aren't losing your adaptation for ketone metabolism (just as it takes a week or so to adapt to fat burning instead of carb burning, it takes a week or so to reverse the process). 

Some will say, "yes, but what about glycogen replacement."  Well, I've also been reading that there are multiple pathways the body can utilize for producing glucose when necessary, but only 1 pathway (insulin) for decreasing it.  Thus, our bodies can become very adept at producing all the glucose we need even in the absence of dietary sugars.  As a side note, the only time I get light-headed from standing too quickly is when I have been eating more carbs than usual (I'm already pretty low carb).  Anyways, what it means is my blood sugars never really get that low on low carb, even though they can get low when on a higher carb diet.   

So I've just started doing this to see if it actually works.  I would always eat some kind of sugars before, or at least after the gym to hit that insulin spike.  Now I realize it's possible I was shooting myself in the foot.  The last few days I've been to the gym on an empty stomach.  Warming up was a bit more difficult/longer the first couple days, but not so bad today.  Like I said, I usually sugar spike myself before the gym.  I'm going to limit my carbs even more during the week, and then splurge for that one day on carbs to see if this works. 

Anyone ever heard of this before?  Tried it before?  Have info to add?

-Jason         





When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 09:45:51 pm »
I workout on an empty stomach in the morning, every other day, and I eat my meal (fat and meat) one or two hours after when I am hungry.
My strength training is based on heavy lifts : deadlift, squat, weighted dips and pull up, and sprints. 45-50 minutes. 3-5 sets of 5 reps.
I recover faster than when I was lowcarbing.

I really don't bother about carbs, insulin, glycogen, etc. I have much more energy with zero carbs. Period. And I don't believe one need carbs for high-intensity training or muscle building.

I am putting more and more muscle on my carcass, for the first time in my life.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 04:01:55 am »
I work out on an empty stomach. I used to be into weight training but now I do kettlebells (well that's still weights but it's more full body style) and bjj. I'm gonna keep at it and see if I can put on the size I had before from lifting weights with this training. In all honesty I'm probably stronger in real life strength, as I spend much of my time wrestling with 200+lb men, and the kettlebell lifts involve more real life lifting situations than isolated dumbell and barbell lifts. But I'm thinner than I was when I was on SAD and lifting barbells and dumbells.

I think I was between 165-170 lbs then and am between 155-160 lbs now. But it seems like I was more than 10 lbs heavier than when I think back to it, I felt much bigger. People would say that it looked like I lifted weights, but now people only say that when I have some kind of muscle shirt on that is tight around my arms.

So you're saying you're going to try eating zero carb for about 6 out of 7 days a week and then eating lots of carbs on the 7th day? I might try that but I don't know if I want to go without any carbs at all for most of the week, I usually eat a little bit of fruit every day.

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 02:43:40 am »
Update on how it's going.  Haven't carb loaded yet, but I've been zero carb every day since my original post (except for last night where I had about 15g carbs with 1.5 lb of meat - honey). 

I work out on a completely empty stomach now with no problems at all (usually I haven't eaten anything in at least 9 hours).  I have more energy.  In fact, I've gotten bigger and stronger as of the last week.  No problems with recovery.  I'm actually doing so well that if it continues, I might not even bother with the carb loading phase. 
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

Offline Ioanna

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 09:23:38 am »
Jason,

I'm interested to read about your progress.  Are you a 1x per day eater?

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 08:41:33 am »
Not usually, but I can see how it could be a good thing.  I tend to eat big for supper (about 1.5lb meat @ 8-9PM), and then play it by ear during the day.  Usually get 0.5-1lb in for 'brunch' about 10ish.  Occasionally I won't eat hardly anything until supper.  I can see a correlation between harder workouts and resting fewer days with a bigger appetite in the morning. 

I read an interesting idea that some of the old-school bodybuilders used to do.  They would get in a good workout, go grab a small snack of steak and eggs, wait an hour, and then hit the gym again.  I'm kind of doing this today as it's been a pretty physical day and I haven't had much time for food, except a few bites of steak.

My gains seem to have stalled the last couple days, but I haven't lost anything.  But muscle building (for me) is a long term kind of process.  I'll give it a few weeks, and if I'm still stalled, try carb loading for a day.
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

carnivore

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 04:07:36 pm »
It seems that I really need to eat a lot of calories, more than what my appetite dictates to me, if I want to gain.
Yesterday for instance, I eat 650g of pemmican = 3000Kcal from fat (in 3 meals) and my weight was the same this morning. I did not workout that day, so I did not spend a lot of energy.
I have tried one meal a day, but that's definitively too much food in one sitting for me, and not enough caloriesfor the day  to gain...



Not usually, but I can see how it could be a good thing.  I tend to eat big for supper (about 1.5lb meat @ 8-9PM), and then play it by ear during the day.  Usually get 0.5-1lb in for 'brunch' about 10ish.  Occasionally I won't eat hardly anything until supper.  I can see a correlation between harder workouts and resting fewer days with a bigger appetite in the morning. 

I read an interesting idea that some of the old-school bodybuilders used to do.  They would get in a good workout, go grab a small snack of steak and eggs, wait an hour, and then hit the gym again.  I'm kind of doing this today as it's been a pretty physical day and I haven't had much time for food, except a few bites of steak.

My gains seem to have stalled the last couple days, but I haven't lost anything.  But muscle building (for me) is a long term kind of process.  I'll give it a few weeks, and if I'm still stalled, try carb loading for a day.

carnivore

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 05:47:40 pm »
I was just thinking that as protein requires energy to be digested and assimilated, it maybe better to reduce the amount a protein, in order for the body to spend less energy on digestion (of protein), and have more energy available to grow.
What are your thought on that ??

Offline wodgina

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 08:10:39 am »
If you want to get the fake inflated muscle look. Eat carbs with fat. The fat will be deposited in your muscles. If you want 'pound for pound' type body, cut the carbs completely or leave a few hours in between.

Is anyone else here getting stronger but not gaining weight? (or very small gains)


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Albert Camus

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 10:42:03 am »
I was just thinking that as protein requires energy to be digested and assimilated, it maybe better to reduce the amount a protein, in order for the body to spend less energy on digestion (of protein), and have more energy available to grow.
What are your thought on that ??


It's funny you ask that, b/c there are times that I have very much reduced my caloric intake and expected that I'd probably loose muscle mass, only to gain some.  My best guess is that my body is using whatever protein is in my digestive tract or maybe elsewhere in the body to build muscle instead of digest food?  I know digestion takes a lot of energy, which means less energy for muscle building, but of course you've got to have plenty of raw materials to build with.

I'd like to experiment with some intermittent fasting, but can't quite bring myself to do it.
     
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2009, 01:34:28 pm »
I am on zerocarb, and I want real muscles!  >D
And I need to gain weight (only 70Kg for 1m82 for now)

If you want to get the fake inflated muscle look. Eat carbs with fat. The fat will be deposited in your muscles. If you want 'pound for pound' type body, cut the carbs completely or leave a few hours in between.

Is anyone else here getting stronger but not gaining weight? (or very small gains)




carnivore

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 01:57:36 pm »
You probably reduced also your protein intake as well.
The body seems to be very efficient to spare protein as it is so vital for him.

However, I find that it is too easy for me to eat too much protein on a carnivorous diet. I am currently experimenting different ration of fat/protein, to see what works best to gain muscles.
 

It's funny you ask that, b/c there are times that I have very much reduced my caloric intake and expected that I'd probably loose muscle mass, only to gain some.  My best guess is that my body is using whatever protein is in my digestive tract or maybe elsewhere in the body to build muscle instead of digest food?  I know digestion takes a lot of energy, which means less energy for muscle building, but of course you've got to have plenty of raw materials to build with.

I'd like to experiment with some intermittent fasting, but can't quite bring myself to do it.
     

Offline invisible

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2009, 09:43:28 pm »
one has to remember that an extreme amount of muscle mass with very low bodyfat is neither paleo, nor healthy. Once developing a certain amount of muscle carb loading and boosting insulin might be needed to break a 'plateau' so to speak, but this doesn't mean it's actually beneficial to anything except bigorexics. That being said, I have lifted weights and made gains fairly fine on zero carb.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009, 01:33:27 am »
I agree about the super lean and bulked look, it doesn't appeal to me anymore and obviously isn't paleo.

I find myself not at all interested in looking like this:



and now that I watch and train martial arts, I like the way athletes like these look:





and the funny thing is that in paleo type activities the latter, although much smaller, would probably perform better. Those huge muscles, first of all, require massive nutrition and those guys would have little stamina when they're burning oxygen in those things. Second, most bodybuilders do exercises that don't mimic natural movements, so that their true strength in real motions is less than their weight lifting strength potential. And lastly, since fighting and hunting are the most paleo sports and the best fighters usually don't look like bodybuilders, it only reasons that those physiques are not optimal.

To me bodybuilders are like women who get enormous (bigger than double D) breast implants. There is a fringe part of society that likes things to excess, muscles are good, so the bigger the better. But there is a point, with muscles and breasts and anything else, where most people would find them too big and not attractive anymore. I'd imagine paleo people would not be attracted to bodybuilders having not been culturally accustomed to thinking that's something you want to attain.

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2009, 03:15:08 am »
I agree.  I have no desire to look like that dude in the first picture, but at 5'10", 168lb, about 10% body fat (abs just showing through), I think there's room to put on maybe 10-15 lbs of muscle. 

Well I have to confess, I broke my diet last night to do some drinking.  I'm not really all that big on it, always sets me back a day or so; but when in Rome...
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

Offline wodgina

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 07:14:25 am »
These guys look 'fit' to me. Have you noticed that most boxers have amzing facial structures? no coincidence there.



Rick Hatton



David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao



Anthony Mundine

And most of these guys don't even look muscley with a T Shirt on whereas the BBer's look stupid.
“Integrity has no need of rules.”

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Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2009, 07:55:05 am »
I agree.  I have no desire to look like that dude in the first picture, but at 5'10", 168lb, about 10% body fat

Well you're bigger than I am then. I'm around 5'9'' and between 155 and 160. It would be nice to put on some muscle but I'm not willing to put any more effort into it than I already am at this point. I go to the gym and stay in shape, learn something and have a good time. I probably just need to eat a little more.

Offline wodgina

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2009, 08:12:55 am »
THe guy in the 3rd photo is 5'11 and 160 pounds and you want to get even bigger (20 pounds) than him?



I think you are aiming for the unnatural. Paleoman are strong, light and useful not bulging, weak and useless.
We need to rethink what is normal.
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Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2009, 08:19:59 am »
I think everyone's body has a different shape and for some 160 would be skeleton thin and others too heavy. For myself, I'm pretty thin now and wouldn't be imo "too big" until I started to pass maybe 190 lbs, but for some guys >200 lbs is a natural weight.

Offline invisible

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2009, 11:41:45 am »
I tend to think that paleo man had developed muscles, was light and defined but was not shredded or ripped. Even those pictures of David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao don't look that natural to me. Today most modern sportsmen do bicep curls, squats, bench pressing and other exercises primarily aimed at producing muscle hypertrophy as part of their training. Bodybuilders do these exercises combined with overly excessive calorie diets and sometimes supplements which gives them enormous size. Sprinting, wrestling, throwing and construction type work was probably the type of anaerobic exercise paleo man did. I don't think they did exercises like modern weight lifting where you reach the absolute maximum of your anaerobic threshold. Despite creating good looking physiques these exercises could be damaging imo. I do lift weights on and off, but honestly I only lift weight to try and look good as vain as that may sound.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2009, 01:22:48 am »
I would suggest anyone interested in natural exercises to look into kettlebells. There are no machines or balanced bars stabilizing the weight, so you can only lift what your weakest link can lift, not the other way around with modern weight training where if you have a weak link you simply bypass it. Examples of this are wrist wraps or hooks for bypassing grip strength failure, belts for bypassing lower back strength failure, bar carriages like Smith Machines for bypassing stabilization strength failure. Modern weight training is designed to increase the strength and size of individual muscles to the abject separation of them as a bodily whole.

I love kettlebells, but even more natural would be to do bodyweight exercises and lifting objects that you might be able to find in nature. I've seen guys running in groups before with a heavy log over their heads passing it back and forth between arms. They were all holding parts of the same heavy log. With partners you can accomplish anything. I find grappling to be highly rewarding and strength building.

Also I find myself still intrigued by the strongman competitions on TV sometimes because they lift more natural objects. Large stones, anchors, logs with grips put in. And they usually aren't as cut as bodybuilders, which shows that the extreme low body fat takes away from strength.

Offline Ioanna

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2009, 08:21:17 am »
Kettlebells intimidate me because of the jerky motions that go with those movements.  Not like anything I've ever done before. They seem to give such great and quick results to the people who use them though.

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2009, 12:54:26 pm »
I like to do handstand pushups, pullups, inverted pullups, snatches (lifting a weighted bar from the ground to above your head), weighted lunges, qutie a bit of work with dumbells (usually w/o a bench), and twirling a metal pipe like a bow staff.  These all seem to be functional and natural exercises that mimick things we might do in a paleo sense.  In addition I do incline press and squats (for the hypertrophic response) and bicep curls to get bigger arms -- yes, I know this is somewhat vain, but...

I originally started raw paleo b/c I came across it when searching for more knowledge about diet and nutrition with the goal of getting better results in the gym.  Along the way I've learned about optimal nutrition, a little about anthropology and biochemistry; how to live a long and healthy life - which is far more important that broad shoulders and large biceps. 

But nonetheless, I do enjoy getting stronger and bigger, experimenting and learning how to maximize athletic performance.

Really though, a big part of this is that I work with people who scoff, and I tell people about my diet in general.  It's alot harder to scoff when you are obviously in-shape, and since I never really was sick or overweight or anything, gaining is just one of those things that - speaking for itself - says, if RP was that unhealthy, if you were really that prone to get sick, then how have I put on 15 lb of muscle since I started?  I do like talking w/ people (who are interested) about my diet; and like it or not, the halo effect gives a level of  credence to what you're saying. 

At any rate, I appreciate the responses. 

 
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2009, 11:55:45 am »
That's true that it makes you seem more 'credible' to the lay person, but they aren't basing credibility on anything that in reality is credible. Having a muscular physique does not mean you are healthy, nor does it require a healthy diet to achieve.

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Re: Insulin, Growth Hormone, bulking
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2009, 12:11:06 pm »
I like to do handstand pushups, pullups, inverted pullups, snatches (lifting a weighted bar from the ground to above your head), weighted lunges, qutie a bit of work with dumbells (usually w/o a bench), and twirling a metal pipe like a bow staff.  These all seem to be functional and natural exercises that mimick things we might do in a paleo sense.  In addition I do incline press and squats (for the hypertrophic response) and bicep curls to get bigger arms -- yes, I know this is somewhat vain, but... 

when or if paleo man did these exercises such as lifting things, I doubt they did them how bodybuilders do them today. I don't think they would have done sets of a few reps until they reach complete failure. Even natural exercises such as body weight exercises can be adjusted to be done unnaturally.

They would have lifted things they could lift, not with ease, but without absolutely exhausting themselves, or they would lift things working together. They did exercise that maintained a functional well developed lean physique but did not do things that would stimulate a constant increase in muscle size.