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Author Topic: Bodybuilders/weightlifters who cannot add mass, might be due to SLD theory?  (Read 5355 times)

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I took up weights to aid in fat loss. I took protein shakes to aid muscle growth and because I had also heard it satisifed hunger very well. I was drinking unflavoured bland protein in the mornings for breakfast and found it did satisfy hunger very well, so it seems I was doing a form of SLD without realising it. It is quite common to see guys on such weightlifting sites claiming they are eating lots of food and not able to put on weight -neither muscle nor fat, they refer to them as "hard gainers". Of course they are trying to add muscle and not fat but they do not report putting on fat and not muscle. One major difference between the average joe eating 3000-3500kcal per day and a weightlifter is that often the weighlifters excess calories are not in the form of junk food. They will most often be bland supplements, gallons of milk, nuts, lean meats & fish, many do not like the taste of protein drinks at all, and drink them solely to aid their fitness pursuits. Also during competition bodybuilders can sustain very low bodyfat levels, they are usually on restrictive diets but again would be often be quite bland.

This is an interesting site which tells of a study where people were unable to put on huge amounts of weight.

Some quotes
Dr. Sims first tried to make university students fat by having them deliberately eat two to three times their normal caloric intakes. Over 3 to 5 months, try as they might, the students were only able to increase their weights by 10-12% and couldn’t gain more.

Groups of “equally dedicated volunteers at the Vermont State Prison” signed up, committed to eating as much as they could for 200 days to try to get fat. Far from being easy, it wasn’t. In fact, most of the men found it so extremely difficult that many considered dropping out. Forcing themselves to eat so much became so unpleasant a few even barfed after breakfast. “Most of them developed an aversion to breakfast,” wrote Dr. Sims. Virtually all of them at least doubled the amount of food they usually ate and simultaneously reduced their activity, and many were eating as much as 9,000 to 10,000 kcal/day he said. Still, only twenty men managed to gain 20 to 25% of their weight with great difficulty and the others couldn’t, even though they were consuming more calories than the others, wrote Dr. Sims.

Once the prisoners had gained weight, their metabolisms had increased by 50%. The men who were able to reach their goal weight found that they could only maintain their weight gain by continuing to overeat — on average ten times more than theoretically should have been necessary for their new size.

In study after study, the Rockefeller University researchers found that each person has a weight range of about 10-20 pounds that their body naturally gravitates to.
I am not sure about the students but I expect the prisoners were being fed a bland diet. Now the weightlifting people are not complaining about AS and are eating a lot but their set point might be low and they can simply not put on weight like the prisoners who just stall. Often they are unusually thin men who want to put on mass so as to not appear so scrawny.


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I can see bodybuilders who can't gain more mass being unable to do so by eating bland foods (and they do too, you're right, the fitness books do recommend that they increase the amount of protein in their diet with things like egg whites, chicken breast, and other lean protein sources) and that correlating to SLD.

However, I do know several guys who are just naturally skinny and have a hard time gaining weight period.  I also know that their diets were anything but bland.  I have a friend who almost exclusively eats pizza and food from fast food restaurants and is as skinny as a rail, works in an IT job so its not like he's getting physical exercise like crazy.  And I had a student working for me who had a similar problem, he could never bulk up (and because he was shorter as well as skinnier, he had the problem where people always thought he was a young boy, rather than a 20 year old college student), and I know he was eating crazy amounts of take out food. 

So while I'm sure SLD can explain body builder's problems, for many nauturally skinny guys they are just really really lucky (though they don't see it that way).


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Wow. Can't gain weight?

Sign me up!!!

How do I get that?

Genetically, we are so similar that a hard-gainer and fat-boy are virtually identical genetically. It's just that different genes are getting activated, at least that's my hunch.

So my genes are getting switched to famine mode or save-for-a-rainy-day mode if you will but skinny guys genes are set to swimming-in-food mode. I bet it is something so simple that all the scientists in the world looking at all the intricacies of the human body are completely missing it...
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