Why can’t I just stay in a prolonged bulking phase FOREVER to build muscle?
To answer that, we need to start with understanding the main muscle building hormone… Insulin.
Insulin is perhaps the most anabolic hormone in the body. Anabolic means growth, and catabolic means breakdown.
Insulin is a powerful hormone to grow muscle with.
The problem is, that having insulin is one thing, but how well and effectively your body uses it, is another.
Insulin works best when the body has been depleted.
Your best chance of gaining lean, quality muscle is right after a reset phase.
It all comes down to insulin sensitivity.
..Meaning improved ‘pumps’, shape, leanness, and workout performance dramatically increase..
After a reset phase, your muscle tissue is super sensitive to insulin.
The more sensitive your muscle tissue is the more carbohydrate, protein and amino acids your muscles can take in.
The added bonus is that you can eat more of these foods and not gain fat.
So if insulin = growing muscles, then we want to cause BIG insulin spikes in the body.
Insulin is spiked from carbohydrates, hence why we intake large amounts throughout the day and frequently.
These high surges of insulin drive the glucose and amino acids in the primed muscle tissue.
As your muscle cells become saturated with glycogen from the eaten carbs, they become very full.
Meaning improved ‘pumps’, shape, leanness, and workout performance dramatically increase.
Nothing good lasts forever though
The more saturated your muscles are with glycogen, the less insulin sensitive they are.
On top of that, the more insulin your body makes, the less insulin sensitive cells become.
This means that eventually, our high insulin spiking periods will reach a point of diminishing returns.
That is why this intelligent approach to cycling nutrition is so effective. And that is how we create large growth spurts.
If you carried on eating a high calorie and high carb diet as your insulin sensitivity reduces, then you’ll start adding more fat than muscle, and your workouts performance will also decrease.
Your muscle cells begin to reject the nutrient because the insulin ‘key’ doesn’t work on them anymore.
Where does all that nutrient go? Fat cells.
They have no insulin resistance and will store all day long forever. Overall, you will also begin to feel mentally foggy and slow.
Some people live in this state without even realising it. Never maximising their body and training potential.
This is the reason why so many people struggle to bulk and ultimately end up just gaining large amounts of fat with small amounts of muscle.
It then takes them so long to lose the fat, as they’re on a diet for such a long time, that they also lose muscle along the way.
The final result becomes a waste of time.
All of this is would be different if steroids were used. Steroids make it all 10x easier, hence why so many people resort to them.
It’s seen as the easy route out.
I have never taken them and I strongly advise you not to.
I have been obsessed with the fitness world for a long time and have sadly seen and heard of many people dying from steroid use.
Stick with me and trust in the process and you will grow muscle like never before with clean, healthy food, the way mother nature intended it.
I know because I’ve done it and I’ve coached clients who have done it.
How elevated insulin and body fat affect cortisol (the stress hormone)
As with insulin and carbs, cortisol can be our best friend and worst enemy.
Short bursts of cortisol and inflammatory signals, like those produced with intense training, are necessary to tell our body something has been damaged here (muscle cells), which will begin recovery mechanisms.
These recovery mechanisms signal the body to produce the genes for protein synthesis, so we can build new muscle tissue.
Without this recovery response, we’d get no new muscle cells and our nervous system would be on a constant high alert.
These large but short bursts of cortisol are necessary to improve performance and build muscle.
Cortisol becomes a problem when it stays chronically elevated. People who are constantly stressed have constantly high levels of cortisol.
A constant elevated state of cortisol starts signalling catabolic pathways (breaking down tissue).
Having elevated body fat and levels of insulin in the body due to poor insulin sensitivity leads to constantly elevated levels of cortisol.
If prolonged cortisol levels lead to catabolism (breaking down of tissue), then this is not good for building muscle tissue.
But come buddha mode we want de-stress, and thus keep cortisol levels to a minimum.
All this is why someone can gain 20 pounds of weight but only end up with a net gain of 3 pounds of muscle.
It’s why timing, frequency, and load of insulin are so vital for long term success.
Cycling these phases of high-calorie growth and low-calorie reset can cause more muscle gain and less fat over time versus staying high calorie all the time.
You need to take advantage of insulin and high calorie but cut back before it wreaks havoc on your metabolism and hormones.
How fast you gain muscle is a result of how much you can adapt to training AND how much nutrition your body is able to use.
It is NOT how much you can consume and how much you can train.
P.S If you’re looking for a way to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, granted it takes longer but it’s more sustainable, then checkout my Fitness Freedom TRX Suspension Trainer & Resistance Band Programs.
Each one comes with a full nutrition and supplements teaching course. I’ll show you how to use the ‘Evergreen Nutrition Framework’ to gain a lean and sculpted body without bulking or dieting.
Then, once you’ve mastered that and want to take things to the next level, you can advance onto my Lean Mass Nutrition Bulking Blueprint!
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