Friday, September 12, 2008

Someone Asked Tom Venuto the Author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle How to Gain Muscle...

WITH TOM VENUTO, Fat Loss coach


Hi Tom. I have your BURN THE FAT ebook; it's great thanks, but now that I'm lean enough my aim is bodybuilding and muscle gain. I read your information on body types in chapter 5 of your book and it was very interesting. I am definitely an ectomorph body type. I am getting good results gaining about 1 to 2 pounds a week, but I'm pretty skinny so it's going to take a while to get where I really want to be, but that's fine, I'm patient and determined. My question is, can I use all the guidelines in your BURN THE FAT ebook for gaining muscle mass?



Martin, first of all, even one pound of weight gain a week is excellent progress provided that weight is all lean body mass and not body fat.

So, if you're not measuring your body composition, use the information in chapter three of Burn The Fat to track your body comp, and if you're doing that already and it's all lean tissue, you're doing great - don't change a thing.

As for using BURN THE FAT for gaining lean weight, the answer is yes.

It's true that BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE is primarily a fat burning program and as you are reading through the e-book, you'll see that the entire manual is written with references to getting leaner.

However, with a few simple adjustments, the program can definitely be used for gaining muscle.

The primary adjustment would be the calories.

The #1 reason why people can't seem gain lean weight is because they're not eating enough. You need a caloric surplus to gain lean body mass.

With the BFFM system of nutrition and training, gaining your first 10-12 pounds of lean mass is actually quite easy. The secret is in the proper caloric intake combined with short, intense training sessions using meticulous and continuous progressive overload.

If you're in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume), it's very difficult to gain substantial amounts of muscle. To gain lean body mass at the maximum possible rate, you need a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than your total daily energy expenditure).

The trick in gaining lean weight without the fat is to select a small calorie surplus because gorging yourself is only going to make you gain fat along with the muscle.

Gaining fat and muscle weight is commonly known as "bulking up" and that's the old school approach you should avoid at all costs. The whole idea is to gain LEAN body mass.

Although BFFM is written with a fat loss slant, all the calorie formulas are included in chapter 6, so you can figure out exactly how many you need to lose, maintain, OR gain weight.

What I would recommend for lean gains is to take your maintenance level (also known as "Total daily energy expenditure," or TDEE), and add a 10-15% calorie surplus on top of that as your starting point for the muscle gaining calorie level.

The only other adjustments for gaining lean mass would be the protein-carb-fat ratios (covered in detail in chapter 8) and of course, the amount of cardio.

Weight gain programs require more carbs in the macro nutrient mix and less cardio. In some cases for ectomorph "hard-gainer" body types, no cardio at all.

For the endomorph body type who tends to gain fat easily, I recommend continuing to use a carb or calorie cycling method even for the muscle gaining phase. The difference is in the number of calories.

For fat loss, I typically recommend a carb cycle with a 20-30% caloric deficit for 3 days, followed by one full day at maintenance or even maintenance + 5-10%, with ALL the caloric increase coming from carbs.

For lean muscle gain with out fat gain, I'd recommend a cycle with 3 days at a 15% surplus, followed by 3 days at maintenance or a small caloric deficit of 5-10% below maintenance.

These are just guidelines which have worked well for me and my clients - of all different body types. They are not written in stone. In fact I have seen all types of calorie cycling variations work for different people. Any non-linear calorie approach is superior, in my opinion.

All the other principles in BFFM, such as eating the "foods that burn" fat and avoiding the "foods that turn to fat" apply as equally to weight gain programs as they do to fat loss programs.

In fact, many BFFM "graduates" quickly reached their fat loss goal using these techniques, and then with a few simple adjustments, shifted into a "muscle-gaining phase." Same program, 1 change in calorie levels.

Using the BFFM techniques for muscle mass gains, most people can expect to gain 1/2 pound to 1 pound per week of lean body mass with no increase in body fat, (1/2 to 3/4 of that for women).

These types of gains can be achieved completely natural - and in fact, natural is the only way I'd ever recommend you do muscle gaining programs.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto, fat loss coach and author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle

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