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GordyR's Beginners Guide to Bodybuilding

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by GordyR, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    GordyR’s Beginners Guide to Bodybuilding

    I would be grateful if a mod could sticky this to help avoid us answering the same questions over and over in this forum.


    Okay, so you want a better body. You want women to stare as you strut your funky stuff around the pool. You want other guys to cower in the corner as you flex your chiselled biceps and make your pecs dance. You want a washboard stomach with beautifully symmetrical protruding abs. This guide will give you the knowledge but the hard work and dedication is up to you. If you want it bad enough and are willing to commit to a huge lifestyle change then read on…

    Most people’s goals consist of losing fat, gaining muscle or a combination of the two. I will cover each aspect one by one but I think before we get started I should dispel some myths, both related to gaining muscle and to losing fat.

    Part 1: Myths

    Spot reduction

    Doing 100's of crunches or situps will not make you lose fat around your stomach. This is achieved only through proper diet and cardio. You cannot lose bodyfat from one particular area.

    Turning fat into muscle

    It doesn’t happen plain and simple. On the flipside muscle doesn’t turn into fat either. The main reason many ex-bodybuilders get fat is because they continue to eat the way they did while they were training after ceasing to train.

    Losing fat while gaining muscle

    Again it doesn’t really happen as such. As a beginner it is possible for the first month or so of beginning to exercise. Other than that forget it unless you are taking a lot of illegal substances. To gain muscle you have to eat more calories than your body consumes in any given period. This will inevitably lead to some fat gain.

    Higher reps + Light weight = Muscle toning

    The word tone is banned from my vocabulary. There is no such thing. The next person to tell me that they just want to “tone” their muscles I will personally hunt down and beat with a stick.

    What people refer to as muscle tone is achieved by low body fat. High reps with low weights will do nothing for the size of your muscles. However routines based around high reps can be beneficial to endurance and thus are useful to some athletes.

    The more the better

    Nope… Wrong again. This is probably the most common mistake made by those beginning to workout. Your muscles do not grow while you are lifting weights. They grow while you are resting. Therefore the time in between your workouts is equally as important as the workout itself.

    When you overload your muscles through weight lifting you are effectively damaging them. When you rest the muscles rebuild. Then and only then do they begin to grow physically larger. The medical term for this is Hypertrophy but I will avoid using medical terms throughout this guide as much as possible to keep thing simple.

    I only want to work my upper body, I’m not bothered about my legs

    If you are not bothered about your legs then you are not bothered about your upper body. By neglecting your legs you will severely hinder the growth of your upper body. The human body tries to keep itself in balance. If your legs are too small your upper body growth will hit a brick wall. It is physically impossible for one body part to grow too out of proportion with another. Otherwise all the kids we see at the gym training only arms day after day would all have 20” biceps by now. Train your whole body, don’t question it just do it.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2005
  2. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Part 2: Gaining Muscle (Diet)

    The key factors involved in gaining muscle are:-


    Each is equally as important as the other. If you neglect any one aspect you will be severely hindering your gains and in the case of diet, completely destroying them.

    Diet is absolutely crucial therefore we will discuss this first.

    To gain muscle your body needs fuel not only enough to perform the exercises you will be doing but to allow the muscles to grow. An average mans daily maintenance calorie level is about 2500. This means that if he eats 2500 calories per day he will neither gain weight nor lose it.

    In order for any growth to occur, either fat or muscle, you need to eat more than your daily maintenance calorie level. This is non-negotiable.

    Not only is it important how much you eat, but also what you eat. Here are some examples of good foods to eat while attempting to gain lean muscle mass:-

    2% milk
    Cottage cheese 2%
    Yogurt 2% plain
    Whey protein powder (post workout drink)

    Green beans

    Rice (short & long grain)
    Sweet potatoes
    Egg noodles
    Brown (& wild) rice
    Oatmeal, rolled oats (slow cooked)
    Multi grain bread

    Olive oil (extra virgin)
    Butter (unsalted)

    There are of course many more good foods but these should get you started. Eating more than your daily maintenance level of calories in order to gain muscle mass is known in the bodybuilding world as “Bulking”.

    Here are some rough guidelines you should adhere to when planning your bulking diet:-

    1. Split your daily food intake into 5-6 meals. This will keep your metabolism high and ensure that your muscles get the nutrients they require all day long. Never go more than 3 hours without eating.

    2. To get a good rough starting figure for the amount of calories you should be consuming take your bodyweight (lb’s) and multiply it by 18. Therefore if you weigh 170lb’s you should be consuming at least 3060 calories per day to begin with. If you find you are not gaining then up the calories. Aim for 1.5-2lb’s weight gain per week. Any more than this and you are likely gaining more fat than you need to be so cut back the calories slightly.

    3. You need plenty of protein. You should try to eat at least 1 to 1.5g of protein for every lb you weigh. If you weigh 170 lbs then you should be eating between 170-200 grams of protein each day. Some people do not need quite this much; by all means adjust to suit yourself as you begin to learn your own body’s requirements.

    4. A whey protein shake is a good idea straight after your workout. Your muscles are literally begging for protein at that time so feed them. Try to get in a full meal about 30 minutes to 1 hour after your workout also.

    5. Do not under any circumstances skip breakfast. Aside from your post-workout meal this is the most important one of the day. You have been fasting for 8 hours while sleeping so your body will be craving food when you awake.

    6. Each of your 5-6 meals per day should consist of a good helping of protein along with some carbohydrates and a little fat. For breakfast something like Porridge along with some scrambled eggs is very good to start with.

    Okay you now have a rough idea of what you should be eating and how much. This is just the very basics in order to keep this guide from getting too large. Feel free to ask any more specific questions in the forum.

    Part 3: Gaining Muscle (Training)

    Okay so you have planned your diet right? You are now eating plenty of healthy foods and consuming more calories than you burn daily right? If not go back and re-read my section on dieting. If your diet is not up to scratch whatever you do in the gym will be in vain.

    First of all lets discuss routines. There are many types of routines you can follow. What is right for one person might not be suitable for another. For the sake of simplicity in this guide I will be focusing on the standard split-type routine as I believe it is best to get the basics down for any beginner and to learn what suits your body. Once you have done this feel free to change things up and to try some of the more exotic routines available to you.

    Other routines that you might want to look into are Full body type routines and similarly HST type routines. You can find all the information you need on HST style training here. While HST routines can be excellent for inducing Hypertrophy I would recommend you already have some experience of lifting before beginning one. Mainly because of the amount of calculation needed to work out what weights should be lifted on such a routine. HST requires you to know your 1 rep, 10 rep and 15 rep max lifts (reps will be explained in a moment) which obviously a beginner will not know.

    Here is an explanation of the most commonly used terms in exercise routines:-

    Rep – A rep or repetition is one complete movement of an exercise. For example if performing a bicep curl, 1 rep is one complete lift of the dumbbell/barbell including the negative (putting the weight back down).

    Set – A set is quite simply a set of reps. While performing a set you do not rest between reps. You do however rest between sets. Many routines will state things like, Bench Press 3x8. This is telling you to perform 3 sets of 8 reps on the Bench Press.

    Superset – A superset is when you move from one exercise to another without any rest. This can be extremely useful for inducing muscle growth in some routines. Some people love super-setting others hate it.

    Compound exercise – A compound exercise or movement is one that exercises many muscles in one movement. These exercises are the ones that will put on the mass and make you grow. Always give priority to these exercises. Examples of compound exercises are: Bench Press, Squat, Dead lift.

    Isolation exercise – Isolation exercises are exercises specifically designed to target one particular muscle. These should only be used to supplement a workout already based on compound exercises. These movements generally do not add much overall mass to your body. Examples of isolation exercises are: Bicep Curl, Tricep Extension, Calf raise.

    Now that you understand the lingo lets move on to the actual split routine and explain why you are splitting things in this way. Here is an example of one such split:-

    Monday – Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
    Wednesday – Back/Biceps
    Friday – Legs/Abs

    Some people prefer to do their Chest and biceps together on the same day and some people prefer a 4 day split or a completely different kind. This is just one example and should not be treated as something which must be adhered to exactly.

    Ok so in this example routine you are hitting each major muscle group once per week. Other types of routines will hit muscles more often such as HST. But for a beginner I would recommend starting with something similar to this as it is very easy to over-train when starting out. The idea is that you overload your muscles on one day then give them enough rest time to heal and to grow. This is why we split the routine up.

    ***Be sure to give your muscles adequate rest between workouts or you wont grow***

    If you train a muscle group too often or if you are not eating enough you will find yourself overtraining. Less is often more when it comes to bodybuilding. Overtraining will prevent any muscle growth from occurring and it is even possible to lose muscle mass if overtraining severely.

    In all weight lifting routines progressive resistance is the key. What this means is that you should be continuously upping your weights as you get stronger and bigger. All weight lifting routines designed for muscle hypertrophy are based around this principle. If you lift the same weight for a year you will see very little growth if any at all. To summarise, lift heavy! Light weights will not damage your muscles enough to induce hypertrophy. Sure you may get a good “pump” after performing them but you will not grow if it is too easy.

    Now onto some important points to remember when putting together your own workout routine:-

    1. Make compound exercises the basis of your routine. Do not neglect them in any way or you won’t grow.

    2. As a good rule aim for 9-12 sets maximum for the larger muscle groups (Chest/Back/Legs) and 6-8 sets maximum for the smaller muscle groups (Biceps/Shoulders/Triceps/Calves)

    3. To begin with I would recommend performing around 8 reps in each set. Some people like to perform as little as 5 reps and other like to go as high as 12. 8 reps is a good starting point. In general lower rep routines are used by power-lifters in order to add strength.

    4. When you can perform 8 reps with very good, strict form then try upping the weight a little.

    5. Forget the machines at your gym. Most of them are pretty much useless. Free weights will give you a far better workout since you activate many more stabiliser muscles. There are certain exercises for which machines can be a useful addition but in general you should ignore them and get straight to work with the free weights.

    6. Get your form right! This cannot be stressed enough. This problem is rife throughout gym goers. If you can’t lift your weights with perfect form then lower the weight and start from there. You will get much faster results lifting with perfect form and a lower weight than if you were cheating by using other muscles to lift a heavier weight.

    What actual exercises should you be performing and how do you do them? Well the best thing I can do here is to point you to a fantastic website which has a directory of exercises for each specific muscle group.

    This website can be found here: Exercise Directory

    Add this baby to your favourites. It is invaluable.

    To help get you started I will post a sample routine based on the 3 day split I mentioned above:-

    Monday (Chest/Shoulder/Triceps)

    Flat Bench Press – 3x8
    Incline Dumbbell Bench – 3x8
    Skull Crushers – 3x8 (similar to lying tricep extensions)
    Close Grip Bench Press – 3x8
    Seated Dumbbell Military Press -3x8
    Lateral Dumbbell Raises – 3x8

    Wednesday (Back/Biceps)

    Dead lifts – 3x8
    Bent over one arm Dumbbell rows – 3x8
    Chin Ups 3x8 (Or Lat pull downs if you can’t do chins yet)
    Barbell Bicep Curl -3x8
    One arm Dumbbell hammer Curls – 3x8

    Friday (Legs/Abs)

    Barbell Squats – 3x8
    Dumbbell Lunges – 3x8
    Calf Raises-4x10
    Abdominal workout (Crunches, leg raises, whatever)

    This is just to give you a rough idea. Many people will find that Monday would hit their triceps too much on this routine due to all the pressing movements. If that is the case then by all means switch your split around. As I said before a lot of people like to do Chest and Biceps together for this very reason. If however you are like me and find that you need to hit your triceps pretty hard in order to induce growth then this sort of routine would be good for you. As you can see this sample routine is heavily based around a 3x8 plan. I definitely think this set/rep range is best for beginners.

    Remember your leg workout will also work your core out pretty well if you are squatting heavy. Many people find there is no need to do any further ab work. By all means throw in some crunches or whatever you like on that day.

    No routine is perfect for everyone so you have to workout your own based on how your body is responding and of course based on what your daily schedule allows.

    Part 4: Cutting (Losing Fat)

    So there you are. You’ve been training hard, eating like a pig and it shows! You have added say 4 inches to your chest, maybe 2 inches to your arms and you now have legs like tree trunks! The only problem now is your stomach is protruding at an alarming rate. You have a layer of fat covering your perhaps once visible abs, maybe you are even looking a little chubby around the face.

    Well do not fret; this section will give you some invaluable advice about losing the extra body fat you have accumulated whilst bulking. In fact this section should be of use to anyone wishing to lose fat, not just bodybuilders. To most bodybuilders and certainly all competing ones, gaining muscle is only half the equation. The other half is losing fat. More precisely losing fat while still maintaining as much of the recently gained muscle as possible.

    The difficult thing about writing about dieting is that there are so many different diets out there. I can’t promise to cover them all but I can give you some good advice and recommendations based on my own experience combined with my lovely girlfriends’ nutritional knowledge. (She is a nutritionist)

    Ok so here goes… If you remember in Part 2 of this guide I explained how to add muscle you needed to eat more calories than you burned up each and every day. Well for losing fat the opposite is true. You must consume less calories than you burn up each day. It’s common sense really.

    One of the biggest mistakes commonly made by those wishing to lose fat is cutting calories too much. Or even starving themselves throughout part of the day. Without getting too scientific, when you eat too little your bodies metabolism slows down. When your metabolism slows less calories are burned just by simply being alive. This obviously is detrimental to fat loss. Not only will your metabolism slow down but your body will begin to feed off your muscle tissue. You will of course lose some fat if you cut calories drastically but you will hit a brick wall very quickly. Due to your metabolism slowing down you will probably find it incredibly difficult to get rid of the last layer of fat surrounding your abs.

    If you have starved yourself down to your desired weight and then begin to eat normally again you will suddenly find that all that fat comes back. The reason for this is that your metabolism takes some time to adjust. After a period of starvation it will be incredibly slow. Therefore as you begin to eat normally again you will be consuming more calories than you actually burn up in a day until your metabolism finally speeds up to its normal rate.

    Quite simply… If you want a six pack, do not under any circumstances cut your calories too much.

    Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have proved that obese people actually have the fastest metabolisms of all. Not the skinny kids who constantly go on about how fast their metabolism is. The reason for this is that they eat a lot of food regularly; therefore their metabolism is constantly active and speeds up.

    The speed of ones metabolism is not determined genetically. It changes speed depending on your eating habits. There are of course exceptions but for the most part this is true. Everyone has the potential for a fast metabolism. So if you are overweight you can no longer use the excuse “Oh but I just have such a slow metabolism.”

    It’s complete rubbish.

    Lets move on to some basic guidelines that should be followed whatever type of diet you decide to partake in:-

    1. Eat regularly. Just as in the bulking phase, eat 5-6 meals a day to keep your metabolism high.

    2. To get a good starting daily calorie figure for cutting multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 12-13. Adjust if need be after a couple of weeks. If you are a bodybuilder concerned about keeping your hard earned muscle then make sure you are not losing more than 2lb per week. If that is the case then you are likely losing quite a bit of muscle as well as the fat.

    3. Don’t drop your calories over night. Remember it is extremely important to keep your metabolism as high as possible when entering a calorie deficit. Therefore it is best to drop your calories gradually. Once you find yourself losing fat keep your calories at that level.

    4. Some form of cardio will aid your fat loss. Particularly if it is done on an empty stomach in the morning before breakfast. Research shows that fat loss from exercise done in this period will be increased by more than 35%. Personally I am an advocate of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) type cardio for this. HIIT will cause fat to be burned for longer after the exercise is performed than regular cardio. Also it takes far less time to do and is arguably better for keeping muscle mass than regular cardio. Professionals used to recommend the typical low intensity, long duration cardio for fat burning. Recent research however has shown high intensity, short duration training to be superior. Particularly if you are aiming to keep as much muscle as possible. Take a look at the worlds top sprinters compared to the worlds top long distance runners. The sprinters are heavily muscled yet still very lean, while the long distance runners are all incredibly skinny.

    5. Don’t just think about what you are eating, but what you are drinking also. Remember having 6 cups of coffee a day with 2 sugars in each cup is going to seriously mess up any diet you have. If you can’t go without that sugar in your tea/coffee then at least plan it in to your diet or better yet switch to sweeteners. The same goes for Alcohol. It is extremely calorific and full of carbs. And not complex good carbs either. Drink plenty of water and save alcohol for the odd celebratory occasion if you really want to have a good body.

    Now let’s discuss some of the different approaches to dieting. There are many types of diets available to you. On a standard cutting diet you should take your bulking diet and lower the overall Carbohydrates until you reach the correct calorie intake for your weight. Bodybuilders should keep their protein intake as high as while they were bulking (Some might even want to up it slightly) and continue to workout as normal. Obviously during this cutting period some strength will likely be lost. Adjust your weights as necessary.

    Something else you may want to do is cut your carbs out in the evenings and get your whole daily carb requirements during the day. This is by no means neccessary but it can be beneficial to a lot of people.

    This is one approach to fat loss and as long as you are eating under your daily requirements for calories you will lose fat.

    Another good approach is a diet based around the principles of Ketosis. The most famous of these diets being the “Atkins” diet. Despite its over-hyped media coverage and the subsequent bad press it has received, it is actually a very safe and efficient way of losing fat. All recent research done into such diets has proved to be very positive. Atkins did not invent the Ketone diet. Bodybuilders have been using it for decades. He just brought it to the publics’ attention.

    On a ketosis diet the idea is to cut carbohydrates drastically. To counter this one must up their protein and fat intake in order to make up their calories. Having a diet high in protein and fat will actually suppress your appetite which can be highly beneficial. I won’t go into the science behind ketosis diets as you can easily find out more just by searching on Google for them.

    If you take this carb-cutting approach your body will soon enter ketosis and you will lose fat at an extremely fast rate. This type of diet is incredibly efficient and despite what people may tell you is actually quite safe. Remember however that ketosis diets are designed for fat loss and generally not for maintenance. Once you have reached your target weight or body fat percentage you should begin to reintroduce carbohydrates in order to healthily maintain your current weight.

    While using a Ketosis diet for fat loss is fine, for general healthy eating it is not advisable. Once you have lost your fat you should go back to eating a healthy balanced diet consisting of the correct ratios of Protein/Carbs/Fats.

    My personal favourite diet for cutting is the CKD diet. Information can be found here:-


    This diet is a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet. What that means is that you are putting your body into ketosis for a period of time and then “Carbing” up to replenish glycogen stores and keep your metabolism from dropping too much. To summarise, on this type of diet you cut carbs during the week and then eat plenty of carbs and more calories at the weekend.

    Ketosis diets are not for everyone, but if you stick to them properly you will lose fat very quickly.

    Now that you have lost your excess fat... Go ahead and start bulking again!

    And so concludes my beginners guide to bodybuilding/fat loss. I may not have covered everything here but at the very least it should give you some good starting points. I haven’t delved into the world of supplementation as I really feel this guide has gotten long enough. Before I leave you I will just make a couple of points regarding them.

    Supplements are called supplements for a reason. Do not rely on them. Food is the most important thing to be consuming. All these “grow muscles fast” products are a waste of money. Although some people swear by Creatine and Glutamine I personally don’t use them. I have tried them in the past and found no noticeable difference other than Creatine made me retain far more water than I would have liked. Whey protein however is very useful as a Post Workout shake to quickly fill your body with nutrients. Don’t make it your main protein source however. Real food is far better. Save your money and buy a few extra steaks per week.

    Feel free to ask any further questions in forum. Myself or ones of the other more knowledgeable guys will be more than happy to help. Just don’t ever say you want to “tone” up your muscle! You are likely to receive a flaming… And a beating with a stick if I have my way ;)

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2005
  3. Fubsy


    Joined: Dec 12, 2003

    Posts: 8,604

    Location: Thatcham

    Sticky tbh ;)

    Very good, all makes sense, though ive never trained much before it all makes sense with what ive learnt when working towards my gym instructors qualification.
  4. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Thanks ^Fubar. I am writing part 3 right now and it should be up within half an hour. I just thought it would be a good idea to do this as we constantly find ourselves answering the same questions over and over in here. Hopefully this will help a few people :)
  5. scouse


    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 599

    Location: Liverpool

    Very good mate, everything I've heard before when I first started training.

    Maybe you should mention something about cutting since you've mentioned bulking i.e low carb high protein diet, to lower body fat and gain definition.
  6. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Cheers guys... Part 3 is now up. I will be covering Cutting as soon as I have written it :)
  7. SidewinderINC


    Joined: Feb 8, 2004

    Posts: 5,213

    Location: Dartford, Kent

    ^ answered everything i could ever have wanted to ask!

    so apart from helping me get into digital recording & bodybuilding is there anything else you can help with :D... my missus of a year and a half left me just over a month ago, maybe you could give me some tips.. hehe.

    Cheers mate!
  8. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Lol glad I could help mate :)

    It just happens that the two things you needed help with were the two things I really know about. Digital recording due to my career in the music industry and bodybuilding due to my previous modelling exploits. :p

    As for your missus leaving you... I'm sorry to hear that mate. Best advice I can give you is get out there and enjoy singledom! Besides if you work on your body to make it look like that of a Greek god's then you'll be beating the ladies off with a stick! :D
  9. eidolon


    Joined: Oct 31, 2002

    Posts: 13,834

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    Nice post Gordy. It's amazing how much rubbish there is out there so it's a good idea to condense the basics into one post :)
  10. Shamrock


    Joined: Jul 24, 2003

    Posts: 5,623

    Location: floating down the Liffey

    What ^they^ said, good job.

    Is there a particular whey protein brand you recommend and if so where is best to shop online?
  11. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    I don't favour a particular brand to be honest. Alot of people like Reflex whey for the price/quality ratio. You can get some big 5kg bags from a certain online auction site pretty cheaply. Might want to check it out.

    I have learned not to put too much emphasis on supplements. Just go for one that is relatively cheap and concentrate more on getting your diet right. Your diet will effect your progress far more than any supplement will.

    Part 4: Cutting/Losing fat is now up... Hope this helps a few people :)
  12. homerio


    Joined: Apr 3, 2003

    Posts: 2,785

    Location: Uni - UCL | Home - Woking

    A very good guide, though how long would you recommend for periods of bulking? I'm guessing it is possible to keep bulking indefinately as long as you rest properly.
  13. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Absolutely mate... You can bulk for as long as you want. There is no set rule. Go by what your body is telling you and obviously by how much fat you have accumulated.

    It is often advisable to take a week or so off from training hard every few months to avoid plateau.
  14. Dogman

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 2, 2003

    Posts: 1,407

    Location: Essex

    Good effort mate. Very informative. :) Just what we need with the increased interest in BB running up to the summer. ;)
  15. Mr Jack


    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 16,671

    Location: Kiel, Germany

    The Atkins diet absolutely does not work by Ketosis - studies done on people entering 'ketosis' shows they do not burn significantly more calories than normal people. What seems to happen is that high protein, low carb acts as an appetite supressent and thus people undergoing such a diet just eat less calories. They are no more, and no less, effective than any equivalent calorie intake controlling diet.

    Other than that, excellent work - well done, Gordy!
  16. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    Thanks for the compliment about my guide mate... But your completely missing the point about Atkins. The idea is not to cut calories more than on a normal diet, but to enter ketosis which makes you burn fat faster than you would otherwise.

    People entering ketosis do not burn more calories than normal people that is completely correct but i never said that they did.

    How you can say Atkins and other ketosis diets do not work through ketosis is beyond me. Keotisis is a perfectly natural process and has been observed for a long time. Cutting carbs and upping protein/fats will induce ketosis. It's a fact.

    High protein, low carb, high fat diets will indeed act as an appetite suppressant as you stated... And as I mentioned in my guide but this is not the only reason people lose fat on them.

    The point of Ketosis diets (like Atkins) is that by cutting carbs you force the liver to produce more ketones from fatty acids. These are then expelled in urine. Basically you are forcing your body to use fat as it's primary food source (as long as you are consuming enough protein to prevent muscle loss) This is how you lose fat on such diets.

    That of course is a very simplified version of the process.

    For years I was strictly against diets based around ketosis, I bought into all the misinforded rubbish that gets spouted about them from the media. But my girlfriend who is a professional nutritionist finally convinced me otherwise based on the light of the scientific research done in recent years. Trust me she knows her stuff and could explain this far better than I.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2005
  17. Mr Jack


    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 16,671

    Location: Kiel, Germany

    I'm not denying that they'll induce Ketosis, I'm denying that Ketosis is a significant factor in weight loss under these diets. There was a Horizon (I think it was) about the Atkin's diet a while back, it discussed the concept that Ketosis was responsible, and they found it wasn't.

    Here's the experiment: they monitor two identical twins - one under Ketosis, one not - during exercise and afterwards. They monitor oxygen intake during exercise, and urine afterwards. This allows them to monitor both the energy usage during exercise and the energy loss through Ketones afterwards. Their measurements showed that people under Ketosis did indeed use/lose slightly more energy that their counterparts - however this difference was far too small to account for weight loss that occurs under the Atkins diet. The difference in calorie intake however is.

    Which is why I say that Ketosis is not the significant factor. Which isn't to say that high protein/low carb diets aren't the best choice; just a quibble about why.
  18. GordyR


    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,606

    Location: Essex

    I saw that same episode of Horizons. And your point about the test they did with twins is a valid one.

    However the test was designed to determine whether or not you burn more calories while in ketosis. It wasn't designed to test the rate of fat loss. Atkins thought that by Cutting carbs extra calories were burned up and passed out through urine. This test proved him wrong. Although as even the horizon researches admitted other peoples tests have contradicted their results.

    Also remember the other tests they did on the same programme? In the controlled study they performed, those on atkins lost twice as much weight as those on a low calorie diet. Obviously a big part of this was down to the surpressed appetite. But that could not have accounted for all of that simply because in order for the "standard low calorie" dieters to have doubled their weightloss they would have had to cut their calories to a ridiculously low level. Far below the amount of calories that the atkins dieters were actually consuming.

    There has been quite a significant amount of research done into ketosis diets in the last year or so since the research for the Horizons programme was performed (which I thought was pretty good by the way)

    Most with results that are very pro-ketosis.

    Thanks for bringing up the point however, it's always good for people to get as much information as possible before beginning any form of weight-loss programme. Only further research will finally end this mystery. Until then the results we have are not strictly conclusive in either direction.

    Regardless... It works. And has the highest success rate simply because people find it easier to stick to.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2005
  19. Royality


    Joined: Dec 7, 2003

    Posts: 3,528

    Location: Normandy

    Great post. Consistently helpful is GordyR - Man of Honour on its way?
  20. WantoN


    Joined: Jun 11, 2003

    Posts: 9,980

    Location: Hampshire

    Fantastic post mate, it's what was needed in the sports forums.

    As to the cutting section, superb, I'm about finished bulking and need to shift some pounds, was useful :)

    Ant :cool: