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Set point theory? Really?

TheOtherOne55

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Just an interesting discussion for the board as I've seen coaches pushing different processes nowadays.

For the past 10-15 years, we've heard guys like Dante (and several other coaches) talking about holding onto your "new tissue" by sitting at the new weight for some time after your bulk. Basically, bulk and blast from 200-230...then sit at 230 for some months to get your body used to holding this new tissue and mass. DON'T immediately diet as the new tissue will be the first to go.

But the hot new topic in BBing now are mini diets. Push your bulk for awhile, throw a diet in there (anywhere from 3-6 weeks) to improve insulin sensitivity, lose some fat, etc. Then go right into attack mode with a bulk. This seems to somewhat go against any set point theory. Would you gain 5lbs...then lose 5lbs in the mini diet, then gain it back again.

This is just an interesting way to ask if new tissue is the first to go...OR is it something you can mitigate with high dosages? I understand that if you blasted for 8 weeks with high dosages, then dropped to cruise and did a mini diet, you're running the risk of losing it all. But say you bulk/blast hard for 12 weeks, but during those last 4, you keep your dosages high and hit the mini diet?

Just interested in people's thoughts here.
 

jeroendebleser

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Scott Abel is also one of the people who say (many) people need to bulk up for a while before they can even start thinking of dieting off the fat. So with Scott and Dante both saying the exact same thing, I figure it must be correct.
 

Elvia1023

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Some very quick typed and random thoughts but it all depends upon just how much weight we are talking. Guys can put on tonnes of weight using gh/insulin etc over time and they stay at that weight but they blow their waste out for getting too sloppy. Some guys who have to constantly mini diet whilst bulking are usually eating too much of the wrong foods and get too sloppy and but on unnecessary fat. But mini diets are a good system if you are putting on say 20 pounds and dieting down no more than 5-8 for example as that is still 12-15 pounds up then you hold. Although I do like the idea of set points and getting your body accustomed to new highs (even if a bit sloppy) but imo you need to hold for closer to a year as opposed to a few months.

There are so many variables and I think simply bulking whilst staying relatively lean is the best one. So you can still reach new set points just not as high as you didn't put on 20 pounds of fat with the 10 pounds of muscle you put on. Alot of big guys who bulked up to a large number but higher bodyfat usually have much less muscle than they actually think. When they diet down they have to lose 50+ pounds to be contest lean.

I have seen examples of guys who have used the set point system and held big weight and done very well from it. Your body really does get accustomed to holding that weight. Because I have been 240+ for many years I can pretty much starve myself and not go below 220 ever. The same would apply for a 280 beast struggling to get below 250 even if he tried.

There are pro's and con's to every method but again I think bulkigng whilst staying relatively lean is the best way. Putting unneccesary fat on is just a waste and negatively effects insulin sensitivity and over time fucks up your waist as everything has been stretched so much over the years.

So conclusion I think even utilizing both methods at the same time can be useful. If someone wants to put on 40 pounds of stage weight they eat big and put on added muscle/water/fat and progress in strength over time and when they get too sloppy then hold back and reset. Try to lose some of the crap and cruise on trt etc and tighten up holding onto the new muscle as best as possible. Then go for it again and repeat until you are where you need to be. I think that is generally better than just trying to get as big as humanly possible and not worrying about fat gain and basically getting fat. No bodybuilder should be getting fat regardless what their goal is.

Now some of the guys who mini diet all the time are scared to not be lean and they will probably find it harder to get ever get huge. They are scared to lose their 6 pack and you won't gain the maximum mass you could being like that. But there are exceptions and many do great using this system and I can't blame them and bulking on a small surplus whilst keeping your waist tight and growing slowly is smart. Some guys prefer to look good all year. I will be bulking soon and I basically keep going until my abs fade then I know I need to tighten things up more before pushing again.

There are many way up the mountain and if someone is driven and takes in the food and drugs they personally need they should eventually make it regardless what path they take. Although there are definitely faster routes for those willing to go that way.
 
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Elvia1023

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blow their waist out :eek:
 

Kaladryn

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There is no reason to think you would lose muscle on a short period of slight calorie deficit, it all depends on the amount of calorie deficit, but I think done carefully it wouldn't be too detrimental. And a small diet like this doesn't go against the setpoint theory necessarily.
 

Elvia1023

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There is no reason to think you would lose muscle on a short period of slight calorie deficit, it all depends on the amount of calorie deficit, but I think done carefully it wouldn't be too detrimental. And a small diet like this doesn't go against the setpoint theory necessarily.

Exactly. Although there are some who do both by the extreme cough cough little cough slice cough :p They get big put put on unnecessary fat. Then they diet on protein only with dnp and drop about 30 pounds in 2 weeks.

Even putting on quite a bit of fat/water is not necessarily that bad as long as you use it to your advantage. Then if you can diet effectively maintaining as much muscle as possible it would be worth it. That's why holding the new weight as long as possible is important as it makes dieting/maintaining easier. I personally think it's best to stay relatively lean and hold back when getting to sloppy which will happen to everyone sooner or later if they are eating to grow as much as possible for long periods.
 

TheOtherOne55

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There is no reason to think you would lose muscle on a short period of slight calorie deficit, it all depends on the amount of calorie deficit, but I think done carefully it wouldn't be too detrimental. And a small diet like this doesn't go against the setpoint theory necessarily.

Totally understand and agree with you Kal...but most coaches who use this "mini diet" idea (and i'm talking John Meadows, Matt Porter and Mike Israetel) aren't talking SLIGHT deficit. They are explicit in saying that this mini diet should be pretty drastic. JM has a couple videos on his YT channel detailing his approach and so does Matt—I also gave the Renaissance Diet's Mini Cut Manual a quick read through.

Honestly, from what I'm interpreting from their approach, they believe new tissue is more resilient that Dante and it wont just looose everything (or just lose fat) once we shift to a brief cut. Like I mentioned in the original post as well, I also think dosage plays a HUGE role in this as well.
 
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Kaladryn

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A brief cut, even if restrictive enough to metabolize some muscle, isn't going to slow you down that much, as long as you return to the surplus growth state.
Levels of drugs used probably play a role too.

I realize nowadays that training methods, diet, drugs, periodization, etc, all revolve around how efficient you are trying to be. Are you trying to maximize your gains on the least amount of gear? Or are you trying to maximize your gains and willing to use whatever dose is necessary? All of these methods and theories change depending on where you fall on that scale.
 

nothuman

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Even if you do lose a tiny bit of new muscle, muscle memory will get it right back
 

brutus69

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malcom young

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Duchaine was talking about sitting on new gains back in the 80’s with his very first USH.
 

KEYTECH

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Just an interesting discussion for the board as I've seen coaches pushing different processes nowadays.

For the past 10-15 years, we've heard guys like Dante (and several other coaches) talking about holding onto your "new tissue" by sitting at the new weight for some time after your bulk. Basically, bulk and blast from 200-230...then sit at 230 for some months to get your body used to holding this new tissue and mass. DON'T immediately diet as the new tissue will be the first to go.

But the hot new topic in BBing now are mini diets. Push your bulk for awhile, throw a diet in there (anywhere from 3-6 weeks) to improve insulin sensitivity, lose some fat, etc. Then go right into attack mode with a bulk. This seems to somewhat go against any set point theory. Would you gain 5lbs...then lose 5lbs in the mini diet, then gain it back again.

This is just an interesting way to ask if new tissue is the first to go...OR is it something you can mitigate with high dosages? I understand that if you blasted for 8 weeks with high dosages, then dropped to cruise and did a mini diet, you're running the risk of losing it all. But say you bulk/blast hard for 12 weeks, but during those last 4, you keep your dosages high and hit the mini diet?

Just interested in people's thoughts here.


This is just my thought:

In my opinion, it's okay, 4-6 weeks of explosion followed by 8-12 cruise on steroids, because the body gets used to the dose, getting homeostasis, whatever it is.
During the explosion, everything that can be allowed to maximize growth: Gh, igf1, insulin, steroids in high doses, high calories from proteins, carbohydrates dosed according to the metabolism of the subject, so as to prevent fat, fat only from vegetable oils, no animals.
Synthol 6 months on, 3 off in all muscle groups, 3 ml per muscle 2 times a week, changing the injection site, synthol and at the base of a huge and steady growth, it is the basis for regular growth, with changes weekly body, not excessive doses, with daily dose on the same muscle, but small doses that will change your body weekly, without anyone agreeing, like some informants who publish horrendous photos. But constant and lasting growth without problems or abscesses.

I have always agreed on the "here is the truth" of Big A and the Synthol protocols, it is at the base for a huge and proportionate physique if they do well and correctly. After 6 months of synthol off, you can do ultrasound in the muscles and there will be no pockets of oil inside, but pure muscle tissue. Test done on several athletes.
 

nihilixm

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Doesn't Dante suggest lowering the food for. The 2 weeks you "cruise" and go lighter in the gym in dc training? That can be considered a mini cut no?
 

FK86

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There is no reason to think you would lose muscle on a short period of slight calorie deficit.

A brief cut, even if restrictive enough to metabolize some muscle, isn't going to slow you down that much, as long as you return to the surplus growth state.

Agree. Meadows did this video recently talking about mini diets and how they can be beneficial. I don't agree with Eugene's 4:1 ratio, but that's me. I think a month in a deficit puts you in the "spinning your wheels" area.

I train for 6-8 weeks and then take 12 days off. No deload training or cardio, I just don't train at all. During that time I reduce calories, especially carbs. It's actually amazing how much bloat and water you lose when you take an aggressive approach for that brief period. I was able to fit into a smaller pair of jeans that I have.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLq04IOFXsA"]How To Implement The Mini Diet - YouTube[/ame]
 

Elvia1023

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Doesn't Dante suggest lowering the food for. The 2 weeks you "cruise" and go lighter in the gym in dc training? That can be considered a mini cut no?

It could be. I think short breaks in all training/diet systems are smart. We can't just keep on eating more and more and training heaver and heavier. It gives the body a break. 2 weeks is a nice amount of time. Although after long periods of progressive lifting/eating you need to have some longer (months) breaks as well. The definition of mini cut is different to everyone as well. I usually lower food by quite a lot whereas others just drop a meal or 2. I think a very basic and low carb diet is great for a mini cut as it will help reset insulin sensitivity as in my case I go through a lot of carbs when bulking.
 

TheOtherOne55

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It could be. I think short breaks in all training/diet systems are smart. We can't just keep on eating more and more and training heaver and heavier. It gives the body a break. 2 weeks is a nice amount of time. Although after long periods of progressive lifting/eating you need to have some longer (months) breaks as well. The definition of mini cut is different to everyone as well. I usually lower food by quite a lot whereas others just drop a meal or 2. I think a very basic and low carb diet is great for a mini cut as it will help reset insulin sensitivity as in my case I go through a lot of carbs when bulking.

Completely agree Elvia.
I think people are somewhat mixing up a mini diet and cruise period....even cruise period is confusing, do we mean cruise like lowering dosage? or cruise like a deload from training?
No matter how you spin it, I think my best bet is to hold onto whatever newly grown mass I have for a couple months before I decide to cut. I planned a pretty aggressive 6-8 offseason blast (which i'm in the middle of right now). When that 6-8 weeks is up, I plan to drop down to an enhanced TRT cruise dose (some test, some mast and some lower dose GH) while keeping calories high. I think the biggest mistake I can make is trying to lower cals. I'm kinda set on the Dante and Palumbo's idea of "if you want to be a 290lber, you have to eat like a 290lber" and that means maintaining what I just built for a decent while.

Once I get married and back from my honeymoon, I'll probably plan another aggressive blast/bulk for a little longer.
 
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thebigbus

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I haven't found muscle loss to be an issue on even a severe mini cut (700-900 cal deficit done for 6 weeks or so). And that's on "low" doses (300test/200mast).

I think if you're hitting the right volume/intensity requirements to keep anabolism stimulated during the cut, you'll do fine. Now this is for "normal" to low-normal bodyfat. I think muscle loss on a cut is overrated until one gets down close to contest-lean levels.

I do mini-cuts for several reasons. One is because i get to where i just can't push more food on a bulk, so need the break. Two is just to tighten up a bit. Three goes along with one: just do it for a nice change of pace. I do the same when I do maintenance phases - give the body a break and the MIND a break :)

Mini-cuts are truly "supposed" to be used for those who are gaining mass, who need to tighten up a bit, get back a little insulin sensitivity, then get back to gaining. It can act as a mini "low-volume" phase as well to hopefully resensitize you a bit when you go back to higher volumes.

I think if time isn't a factor, and you stay relatively lean during a bulk, then doing your bulk following by a couple months maintenance may be "best" for holding that new weight. But inserting some mini-cuts inbetween, if done right, probably won't hamper that longer term growth.
 

jeroendebleser

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I haven't found muscle loss to be an issue on even a severe mini cut (700-900 cal deficit done for 6 weeks or so). And that's on "low" doses (300test/200mast).

I think if you're hitting the right volume/intensity requirements to keep anabolism stimulated during the cut, you'll do fine. Now this is for "normal" to low-normal bodyfat. I think muscle loss on a cut is overrated until one gets down close to contest-lean levels.

I do mini-cuts for several reasons. One is because i get to where i just can't push more food on a bulk, so need the break. Two is just to tighten up a bit. Three goes along with one: just do it for a nice change of pace. I do the same when I do maintenance phases - give the body a break and the MIND a break :)

Mini-cuts are truly "supposed" to be used for those who are gaining mass, who need to tighten up a bit, get back a little insulin sensitivity, then get back to gaining. It can act as a mini "low-volume" phase as well to hopefully resensitize you a bit when you go back to higher volumes.

I think if time isn't a factor, and you stay relatively lean during a bulk, then doing your bulk following by a couple months maintenance may be "best" for holding that new weight. But inserting some mini-cuts inbetween, if done right, probably won't hamper that longer term growth.

Yes, even not taking into account your bf getting too high, you can't bulk effectively forever anyway. After a while the muscle gain-fat gain ratio starts to favour fat gain too much for it to remain an effective strategy it seems.

I forgot the name of the concept and I haven't tried it myself but there's a certain method out there which requires you to bulk for 2 weeks, then cut for 2 weeks and repeat. Sounds like an interesting idea. If someone could point me to what the concept is called again?
 

massnup

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Yes, even not taking into account your bf getting too high, you can't bulk effectively forever anyway. After a while the muscle gain-fat gain ratio starts to favour fat gain too much for it to remain an effective strategy it seems.

I forgot the name of the concept and I haven't tried it myself but there's a certain method out there which requires you to bulk for 2 weeks, then cut for 2 weeks and repeat. Sounds like an interesting idea. If someone could point me to what the concept is called again?
Anabolic burst cycling diet
 

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