Please pardon me for posting this again. I was not sure whether it should be under "Blog" or "Discussion"... My apologies to Harley & Freelee.
I have gotten tons of emails on this subject. I want to post this for those of you not sure about this diet for acquiring lean tissue mass.
It is entirely possible to build muscle completely from scratch on lfrv. In fact any other method is not healthy. Of course you can build more muscle "size" but you are not really building it when your nitrogen retention from excess (they call it "extra" ) bloats the cells with excess waste. This is what that garbage is-- it is muscle size not actually freshly build muscle fibers. In fact all the cells that you gain weight with from any calories are "puffed" up to an extent just by "forced feeding" over and about what you really need to live a safe, healthy and productive life.
Those individuals who share their "lfrv" expertise on youtube who say that they need to supplement with spirulina or rice powder or other processed stuff "in order to get extra protein" which in turn seems to make them bigger, are not truly building muscle. That is just size, caused by puffing up the mitochondria of the muscle cells, as well as the intracellular fat that is added to as well.
You can not gain just muscle anyway. You have to gain some fat with it. When you put on ten pounds, three of four pounds are fat. Even if you are training hard and heavy. You have to be extremely sure to consume slightly more and more calories as your training cycle becomes heavier and thus burns more calories. Most people don't realize the large calorie energy demands of true weight training. The process surpasses endurance training, everything else equal, as the acquisition of additional muscle mass increases your metabolism 24 hours per day, unlike demanding endurance activity that will increase it for two or three hours after you have stopped. Building muscle has been said by physiologists to be ten times harder than losing fat, and unless a person has a lot of well proportioned mass plus shorter, better bone leverages to begin with, then the process of acquiring lean tissue is a daunting one, fraught with many pitfalls. Only the truly dedicated can make progress more than those younger trainees in their teens and early twenties who easily build ten or fifteen pounds of "mixed muscle" their first six months of weight training "adventure".
Personally I am able to gain muscle from scratch on lfrv. I lost a lot of total weight when I went raw in 1999. For several years I got hoodwinked by the so-called "woo woo spiritual people" , including some close friends and loved ones. Looking back I could kick myself, for straying from my diet experience, which I had carried out successfully as a cooked vegan since the early eighties! I discovered, even before that, that Americans consume three times more protein than they need, and even though my goal was to "get bigger", being a total nerd and planet-lover as they say, not to mention that I did not enjoy literally stinking from eating animal products, and experiencing lethargy from them compared to plant-based calories, I learned soon enough a very very important thing: You do not need that much extra protein to build muscle! In fact this is nothing new! Physiologists and nutritionists and dietitians have known this fact for before I was born. What is needed is extra carbohydrate calories. When you consume extra carbs you automatically increase your protein sufficiently. It is a no brainer.
But then there is marketing. What a joke that is. I feel sorry for young men, and women who still in the year 2012- buy into these downright lies. Even 30 years ago when I would read "Muscle & Fiction" magazine, my training partners and I would scoff at the ads for "Dynamic Stamina Builder" that were placed next to "articles" that featured some steroid-protein-fed monster and his two hour long "bombing and blitzing" routine that would kill any normal athlete. The same trick is done when pushing protein powders. They call the results "cellular optimization". Fancy words for puffing up the cells! Ironically, as I matured and met many of these people, some on steroids some not, I also discovered that they never even wrote those articles let alone train that way. I could go on and on about the history of publishing/ supplement conglomerates./. but you get the point.
Few people train with weights diligently let alone properly. Fewer still are totally vegan. So few are vegan and do not take supplements. The tiniest sample.. almost a handful in the entire world... like me.. are not only vegan... not only raw... not only fruitarian and greens... but do not take any supplements let alone eat salt, oil, spices, garlic or onion. I am doing this at age 53 and am right this moment getting into heavy training for my structurally poor lanky frame. But guess what? Even with my glass lower back, I have devised a simple weight training program designed around the tried and true fundamentals that is allowing me to build muscle from scratch better now than when I was 20. I am not kidding.
Calories are calories, people. Basics are basics. We just choose to eat the best way possible for health. Personally I do not have more than 90 minutes to two hours per week to devote to my weight training, yet in my personal experience, and also training with the best (in my estimation) athletes for over 30 years, the best muscle building routines share two major similarities: 1) They involve only the most basic large muscle group exercises, 2) The workouts are as brief as possible and as infrequent as possible to allow complete recuperation, and 3) Calories are calories. I just choose to eat the best, which is fruits and vegetables. Nothing added. Nothing taken away.
I will be posting more pics, and details shortly. This is my favorite project, as I come from a very "intellectual" background and life, and I take great pleasure in the simple pleasure of seeing what can be done with my body with almost the worst possible genetics (no this is not just my opinion, but what has been confirmed by professionals throughout my life as well, which actually makes me a good coach since I am one of the few dedicated individuals who gains because of what I do not in spite of it like so many others. Champions are born not made. This is an unfortunate fact of life. But… with proper diet… proper training…. and the proper mindset and patience… you can literally transform yourself.. and when you do, you will appreciate what you have achieved 1000 times more than those who have it handed to them on a silver platter!)
Jon thank you. I commend you on your odyssey as well. I can see that you are conscientious and are getting results.
Actually, I'll probably run myself through a muscle building routine over next winter, so I'll post updates on that when the time comes. I've been working/volunteering 10-12 hours/day on the computer and will continue doing that through the summer/fall. It means I've chosen to sacrifice some of the results I'm used to for a few projects, so by the time winter rolls around I'll definitely be in need of the gym again. I'm lean and lanky as well, so building muscle requires a lot of focus, but I'm quite looking forward to the challenge of building-up.
I'll be putting some of your tips to the test ;-)
Yes Jon, I understand completely. For the last 25 years I myself have been devoting that many hours per day to work and projects. In fact for the last ten, my vocation required me to open another location which had me work some days 14 hours on my feet. That is why my business is named "The Best Weigh" Longevity Center. Not only b/c I was always interested in the best body composition, but in the best, most efficient way to get into the best possible shape. I am really all about balance. Strength. Endurance. Flexibility. Body Composition. But it has taken me over 35 years to learn that you do need much time to workout- that is a big myth. What matters is progression and years and years and years of dogged determination. But the workouts themselves can be added into anyone's life regardless of how many hours they work or are involved in projects.
Very good point. This has been my ongoing experiment/struggle - to figure out how to balance the hours of the day and to balance my enthusiasm for these projects with my need for personal health (often I tend towards personal sacrifice for what I see as worthy projects). It's an ongoing challenge not to let health be sacrificed, as I know in the long-term that benefits no one. I know our own Tarah recently had a strong experience with what happens when we sacrifice our health in that way, and I've had several of those kinds of experiences as well. The yo-yo of sacrificing health and then recovering it is certainly hard on us.
Perhaps it'd be a good idea to start up a thread with your tips and basic method of incorporating workouts into such a busy schedule (unless you've already done that and I just missed it). It'd be nice to open up a full discussion just on that topic! I'm sure I would benefit greatly and imagine others would as well. One of the most common difficulties many of us have is balancing our lives so as to maintain consistent health, strength, endurance, etc. with busy schedules. We all need to learn from your 35 years! :)
Thnks Cris, I almost got into the sups. Like creatine, L-glutamine or B.C.A.A . After reading your post. I still don't use sups . I am gaining , but slow. I understand now, why the most of us craving for sups. Thnks for your post . You muscle's a great and big, and real full with fruits . so you don't loose muscle,if you keep eating those fruits. I understand it now more and more everday. Keep in tuch! .Greetz Patrick
Hi Patrick glad you are doing it right. Thanks for your comments. But I really don't have "big muscles". I am born with a long and lanky body. My long limbs, however, when they are bunched up or in a crouch pose, look very sunstantial. But I have almost a 36" sleeve length. And long legs to match. Yet I built my hips and thighs from "biafra" to what most consider my best muscle group. For me to gain even an ounce of any muscle size at all has always been a terrific battle of wits, patience and discipline, not to mention eating more than I ever "felt" I wanted to! I had trouble gaining muscle even when eating cooked food. Even way back when I ate animal products- it was super tough for me to gain muscle or weight of any kind. Truly a mess I am genetically- physically when it comes to leverages! Always hurting my back and it goes on and on! But I persevered. That is why, now, at age 53, believe it or not, I have finally discovered a "way" to build muscle that feels "effortless" compared to the way I have been torturing myself from when I was 15. Without arrogance, I must admit that I gained all of what I have the truly hard way, and have found the best way. And it SURELY does not include bodybuilding supplements. Even banana smoothies, for example, while helpful in a pinch, are not nearly as good as solid bananas. That is one detail on the diet side at least for you to sink your teeth into. Literally.
Oh man, I just crapped my pants..... Why aren't banana smoothies as good as solid bananas? That's the only way I can tolerate eating 1-2 ibs of greens/day. Please be gentle.
LOL Justin. Not to worry too much... I'm not saying that green smoothies or fruit smoothies are no good; just that solid food digests and starts the assimilation process better. For larger and/or taller men (and even some women), consuming enough calories can be daunting at times (especially when accompanied by a high stress "go go go lifestyle" (which makes the difficult process of eating to build muscle & add body weight that much harder), smoothies are very helpful. All I am suggesting is that you please try to eat at least half of your food in solid form.
This is why I like watermelons so much. They are the absolutely easiest-to-eat solid food. And at 55 calories per cup (the 20 lb.+ melons I get are over a thousand calories each, some as much as 1400), I sometimes eat two per day, especially when it is really hot out. Eating them is pretty effortless, providing I allow myself to sit down and eat. This is why this diet, among it's many myriad health & power benefits, is the greatest single factor in making one sincerely analyze their daily life and ask the question, "Why am I doing what I am doing and how do I do it more efficiently so that I have more time to eat... and thus enjoy my life?" This is a subject all to itself...
*I almost forgot WHY solid fruit digests better (and I have a priori experience with this... I do not just research; I test everything fully for months or years on myself and others before I make any statements). When you think about it, for one thing, the time it takes to make a smoothie and THEN make sure you do not "drink" it too fast is better served just eating the damn bananas. More importantly, the act of chewing the fruit itself makes your salivary glands secrete the proper ratios of digestive enzymes that you need to get that food to where it is supposed to go, and the best way and speed at that. By drinking or even "trying to chew" our smoothies, we are setting ourselves up for a variation on nature's plan. And for a reason. She set things up perfectly so we do not even have to think. As we tinker with things to "make them more convenient" we end up screwing ourselves a bit or a lot in the process. If you are not just eating but relying on the correct influx of caloronutrients for your bodily construction project, then you are cheating yourself if you do not make the most of your food. Just like eating carbs/fats/protein too late wastes calories, the removal of the very act of PROPER chewing significantly reduces the effectiveness of the digestion process. We have all experienced (most of us) the blood sugar rush and ensuing temporary fatigue when we consume too much fruit too fast, especially when it is over-ripe. Well smoothies and fruit juices have a similar effect if not treated with utter speed-of-entry respect.
get your books together fast so i can buy them :=)
Yeah, That i like ;)
Awesome! I'm impress, Gaining muscles at the age of 53, Nice! Indeed , a liquid diet makes the diggetion slow and lazy. Thanks for notice this up Chris. I gonna work hard for it. Thnks for the motivation. It wil take some time, just like a tree needs time to grow and to get strong, Right?. Water melons gives me an incrideble energy level. I eat them some times before workout in the morning. I gonna eat some more, now i know.
Thanks Chris! I'm actively taking in all that you write. I appreciate it so much.
This is the first summer that I've struggled (well, I noticed it somewhat last summer, too). I think it might have something to do with these hot, hot, dry summers we've been having here in Colorado. That, and the fact that I'm the sole lawn- and garden-keeper, which, combined with physical exercise, completely does me in (I've been doing the outdoor work for three summers, and it's really having a (negative?) impact) alongside exercising outdoors. I've been noticing a huge improvement in my 'output' on the days when the weather goes cooler. Sadly, we've been in the 100s practically this whole summer so far.
Guess I'm going to have to renew my gym membership, cuz my fitness is really suffering. Thanks so much for your advice. It's invaluable! .....ana xoxo