Bulking For Muscle Growth Is Dead (New Study Explained)

Dr. Mike and Dr. Eric Helms discuss a study on the effects of caloric surplus on strength and body composition in athletes.

Summary

  • The study compared the impact of additional 600 calories on strength and body composition and found no statistical advantage.
  • Dr. Eric Helms, a sport researcher and natural bodybuilder, was a guest discussing the study's findings.
  • Athletes consuming an excess of 600 calories showed only detriments in jump height and sprint times, not muscle gains.
  • The discussion also covered how to apply these findings in practical settings for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.
  • They suggested a moderate caloric surplus as the best approach for most athletes.

Chapter 1

Study Overview and Guest Introduction

0:00 - 1 min, 24 sec

Dr. Mike introduces the study and guest Dr. Eric Helms, discussing the study's structure and findings.

Dr. Mike introduces the study and guest Dr. Eric Helms, discussing the study's structure and findings.

  • A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a caloric surplus on strength and body composition in athletes.
  • Despite consuming an additional 600 calories, athletes did not experience significant improvements in muscle gain.
  • The only significant differences observed were in jump height and sprint times, which worsened.

Chapter 2

Study Details and Methodology

1:23 - 1 min, 39 sec

Dr. Eric Helms details the study's approach, including the blinding method and training regimens.

Dr. Eric Helms details the study's approach, including the blinding method and training regimens.

  • The study was an eight-week trial with trained men and women, randomized into three dietary conditions.
  • One group was instructed to eat at maintenance, while the other two groups followed small and large surpluses.
  • Training personnel were blinded to the dietary conditions of the participants to prevent bias in training.

Chapter 3

Prior Research Comparison and Discussion

3:02 - 4 min, 4 sec

Comparison of the current study with previous research on dietary surpluses and body composition changes.

Comparison of the current study with previous research on dietary surpluses and body composition changes.

  • Existing studies such as by Rosnick and Garthe were discussed to compare trends in muscle gain and fat gain during bulking.
  • It was highlighted that training age plays a significant role in how effective a bulking strategy can be.
  • The conversation included the importance of considering individual response to training and dietary adjustments.

Chapter 4

Advanced Lifters and Optimal Surplus

7:06 - 6 min, 52 sec

Strategies for advanced lifters regarding caloric surplus and the challenge of gaining muscle without excess fat.

Strategies for advanced lifters regarding caloric surplus and the challenge of gaining muscle without excess fat.

  • For advanced lifters, it is recommended to gain 1% of body weight per month to ensure the majority of weight gained is muscle.
  • A large surplus is not advisable for advanced lifters, as it often leads to significant fat gain with minimal additional muscle.
  • The discussion suggested a surplus of 200 to 400 calories as reasonable for most people.

Chapter 5

Application to Training and Coaching

13:58 - 16 min, 5 sec

Practical takeaways from the study for trainers, coaches, and athletes in managing diet and training.

Practical takeaways from the study for trainers, coaches, and athletes in managing diet and training.

  • The importance of individualized training responses and the use of biofeedback to guide dietary adjustments was highlighted.
  • For those with high precision in tracking, smaller surpluses can be followed, but for most, moderate surpluses are recommended.
  • Monitoring body weight along with physical appearance can guide adjustments in dietary surplus for optimal gains.

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