WORDS CHRIS THOMAS
For as long as time, bodybuilders have always been fascinated with the scales and weight. But having such focus on this one thing, has it been to the detriment of the big picture and the efficiency of reaching the ultimate goal of maximum tissue growth.
Forever I have heard of guys doing a bulking phase and proclaiming that they have put on 15kg in 12 weeks and so on and so on.
Considering that I would believe putting 3-4kg of stage weight on in a season as very successful, no question, where are the 15kg gains that I keep hearing about?
Let’s break this down then… a guy gets motivated to put on weight, he supplements, increases caloric intake, but is loose with nutrient selection as he sees the fastest way to get to where he wants to go is to eat and eat big and eat everything.
His 15kg gain will be made up of minimal tissue growth, without a doubt adipose tissue increase and a hefty increase in water weight.
Water weight will increase partially due to supplement protocol, but most of it coming in the form of inflammation through poor food selection and the use of ‘high risk’ food types.
‘High risk’ food types, meaning those foods most likely to cause allergenic reaction. Allergenic reactions can manifest itself in many ways, from the most extreme, anaphylactic reaction to as simple as bloating, gassiness or just food repeating on you. Even in the mildest of these cases, it is enough to cause inflammation to the gut, hampering optimal food digestion and absorption.
This is also not taking into consideration the effects preservatives and artificial sweeteners have in the disruption of gut bacteria as well.
Having done many IgG IgA food panel intolerance tests on my athletes, and granted not everyone is the same, certain food types still show up as allergens more often than not and make the topic of choosing ‘low risk’ food groups too hard to ignore.
Poor gut health, poor food choices and carrying a much too high percentage of body-fat, all lead to increasing the body’s resistance to insulin as well. When the body is resistant to insulin, it is displaying pre-diabetic symptoms and makes optimal nutrient partitioning or in other words, the most efficient utilisation of nutrient, impossible.
When the body is resistant to insulin, it is in a pre-disposed state of wanting to store rather than utilise, making it far easier for adipose tissue gain and more difficult for the primary goal of lean tissue increase.
It is inevitable that the leaner the human is, the more sensitive to insulin they are, and it cannot be avoided.
So, now you are lean, you look good, you have heightened sensitivity to insulin and are now primed for optimal lean tissue growth. Armed with this and the knowledge of all the negative effects eating poor foods have on gut health, inflammation and resistance to insulin, I know which way I would prefer to do things!