I am 6'3". I am almost 50 years of age. I started working out at 19 after I read Arnold's book, The Education of A Bodybuilder.
I made some gains early but on, but they stopped. By gains, I mean something permanent. Enlarging the borders of my muscle mass tissue. Making more/bigger tissue.
In my pursuit of trying to squeeze out more gains, I realized that I had not really paid attention to diet all that much.
I ate more carbohydrates and proteins, and it felt like my muscles were making gains of a different nature. They felt like they were swelling. I was getting more tiny little stretch marks around my muscles, and my muscles were much more "pumpable" in the gym.
It was obvious that I was not making permanent gains (not building any new material), but rather just temporally "filling up" the muscles with more of .... something. Didn't know what.
How to explain this was beyond me. Over many years, I began to realize that eating more protein and more carbohydrates together (I wasn't really paying attention to the amount of fats I was taking in), I was causing a some type of configurational and operational improvement in the way my muscles felt and responded in the gym.
I believe protein is important because it repairs the muscle wall, supplies the much-needed amino acids for repair and rebuild, and helps to build the small little protein-based, DNA-encoded enzymes that do the work of glycogen-building.
But carbohydrates is important too since that is what is stuffed into the muscle in order to build more glycogen chains in the muscle and what releases insulin into the body which is an anabolic hormone.
Unfortunately, insulin suppresses fat metabolism. So the bodybuilding lifestyle, goal and diet to be bigger also shifts every individual participating in it towards a higher level of carbohydrate-burning. In other words, everyone is shifted towards a higher level of carbohydrate-neediness--not fat metabolism!
As I strove to make my muscle mass hold more energy in the form of glycogen and water. This was the same result every time I tried to do this.
Bigger, more pumpable muscles from eating more protein and carbohydrates yielded fuller, more bigger-feeling muscle but caused illness: a chronic nauseated stomach, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and a warming/flushing of the face. Could not get away from it or suppress it, no matter what I tried to do or what supplement I tried to take.
Naturally, I went to the doctor, seeking answers. None could be found from medicine. The doctors all seemed to say and do the exact same thing: just be moderate, eat moderately and exercise moderately. I did not want that. I wanted the problem found, a solution given. I wanted to have big, heavy-feeling musculature and not be unwell. Was that too much to ask?
The answers tendered for the high blood pressure and bodybuilding association (and there is an association there and to deny it would be foolhardy) did not satisfy me. I wanted the answer, not theories. I did not feel that I had received an answer that satisfied me from bodybuilding or medicine. But being only a bachelor of science, I had no idea where or who to go to, to get the right answer.
Still, answers and more questions came to me gradually.
Over time, I developed my own three theories, one of which is the predominant one I explore in this book.
I feel that muscle-building, muscle hypertrophy is about augmenting carbohydrate metabolism, not fat metabolism.
If you are sensitive to carbohydrate metabolism augmentation--and you won't know till you lift weights--then, one possibility is that by eating carbohydrates and proteins, and trying to grow your muscle mass, you are growing your carbohydrate metabolism faster than your (good) fat metabolism increase can keep up with. That is, your carbohydrate metabolism increase is outpacing your fat metabolism increase.
Carbohydrate metabolism growth > fat metabolism growth
Carbohydrate metabolism growth => stress. Stress is also a measure of lack of energy reserve power.
If you are a fast-oxidizer--as defined by the pseudo-science known as metabolic typing, as I believe I am--you will quickly augment the metabolic stress on your body and exceed your stress tolerance very quickly.
The medical blood test does not test for your metabolic type because it cannot.
This is I believe is the best fit for me. It makes sense given my heritage and experiences before lifting weights.
I believe that every single professional bodybuilder--thin or fat--including Arnold Schwarzenegger is a slow-oxidizer metabolic type. You have to have the ideal kind of cellular metabolism--along with other factors--to be a professional.
If I eat nuts, drink a shot of homogenized milk along with four amino acids, and take in wild salmon oil, my muscles get that "more fuller" feeling without me being as ill as in the past on a diet of more carbohydrates and protein. But illness will always be there.
Why is this diet minimizing the unwellness a little?
1) Milk and nuts contain more fats and protein. 2) Eating fats and proteins for myself does not violate my metabolic typing gradient since it is a fat-based source of energy. 3) When an individual takes in more fats, that preserves muscle glycogen since the glycogen stores are "left alone" as the person's body--any metabolic types--tries to switch over to deriving more metabolic calories from eating the diet higher in fats. 4) Insulin is not being issued as much since insulin is not issued by fats, but it is by carbohydrates.
Even though I wanted to be big in life, and think I have the right physical genetics for being big, my metabolism will not allow it--even under the diet of proteins and fats--and it is better for me to be thinner with smaller muscles.
I realize now that it is not in God's cards for me to be famous as a bodybuilder. That's OK with me now.
Special Note: The book in print is not the Icarus book. I have written two books to illuminate my understanding and the understanding of others who wish to here the truth, not marketing falsehoods about wildly increasing fat metabolism. Thanks to all who have bought and/or downloaded my books.
on Dec. 26, 2012 :
Excellent read. The author puts forth interesting ideas regarding metabolic rates as it relates to increasing muscle mass. Also relates the topic to his personal journey through life.
(review of free book)