Measure Muscle Gain??

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OliverFromPerth
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Measure Muscle Gain??

Post by OliverFromPerth » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:15 pm

Ok, so there doesn't seem to be much confidence in body fat scales, which may also include muscle mass calculations. Sounds like the scales vary alot depending on factors such as hydration.

So how do you guys go about measuring your muscle gained?

Maybe you have some tips for a newbie like me.

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Post by jwcalla » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:36 pm

I just use one of those cheap plastic calipers, but then again accuracy isn't the most important thing for me. I just watch the trends.

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Post by Matt Z » Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:59 pm

I've always measured muscle gain by how much I can lift and what I look like in the mirror. This may not be the most scientific method, but it does work.

OliverFromPerth
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Post by OliverFromPerth » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:52 am

Sounds good to me. No need for fiddley devices.

I don't think I will bother buying body fat scales or skin calipers.

I'm a skinny prick anyway, so I don't need to monitor my fat.

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Post by Ironman » Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:07 am

If that's the case just get on the scale. Weight will fluctuate but it will give you some idea. I use calipers, but I usually go by what I see in the mirror or if someone happens to notice something.

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Post by PaulP » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:24 am

I agree with MattZ. Looking in the mirror is a good start. I try to use a scale but my weight seems to fluctuate a little.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:20 am

Matt Z wrote:I've always measured muscle gain by how much I can lift and what I look like in the mirror. This may not be the most scientific method, but it does work.
Measuring muscle mass increases by how much you can be deceptive.

While increasing muscle mass will increase strength levels, the primary reason is neural adaptation.

Research show any who gains weight will add muscle. In one study, couch potatos who did nothing added muscle mass. Thirteen percent of their weight gain was muscle.

That bad news was the eighty seven percent of the weight they gained was fat. That a bad trade off.

By adding resistnace training, more muscle mass/less fat is gained. However, the majority of those who gain weight will add some body fat, as well.

As Matt menitoned, the mirror can be an effective tool. But I would also suggest one use a tepe measure.

On a personal note, I put fat on in my waist. I find my pants don't lie. When I find buttoning my pants get harder, I know that I am putting on more body fat.

When my pants get lose in the waist, I am decreaseing my body fat levels.

A good technician who had peformed hundrend of body fat measurements can provide you with some idea of how you are doing.

The problem is the majority of personal trainers don't have the experience or education.

A personal trainer who use a mesuring tape and then marks on that precise spot on your body to take the measurement, usually knows what they are doing.

Those taking measurements by using an approximately spot on you, don't know what they are doing.

Kenny Croxdale
Thanks TimD.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:56 am

I agree that not all stregth gains are the result of hypertrophy. However, if you keep adding weight to the bar you will inevitably pack on quality muscle. Conversely, any loss of muscle mass while dieting will be apparent in how much you can lift.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:18 am

Matt Z wrote:I agree that not all stregth gains are the result of hypertrophy. However, if you keep adding weight to the bar you will inevitably pack on quality muscle. Conversely, any loss of muscle mass while dieting will be apparent in how much you can lift.
Matt, good point. As I noted in the previous post, any time you lose weight you lose muscle. Any time you gain weight, you gain muscle.

As I noted, research show that even a couch potato will gain weight doing nothing. Thirteen percent of their weight gain being muscle.

Nine times world powerlifing champion, Larry Pacificio, once noted that in one of his seminars. When someone would ask how to bench or squat more, Larry would reply, "Gain weight."

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Thanks TimD.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:19 am

Of course, lifting heavy isn't the only way to get big. A lot of bodybuilders manage to grow using relatively modest weights by using high-volume training and/or relying heavily on things like drop-sets and forced reps. However, IMHO old-fasioned, heavy-duty training is better suited to the natural lifestyle. Meanwhile, this type of training has the added advantage of building muscles that are strong and functional, as well large.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:29 am

PS.) I can say from personal experience that it is possible to shed bodyfat, at least up to a point, while building muscle mass and increasing stregth. However, typically it's quicker/ easier to focus on one goal at a time (bulking or cutting).

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Post by leif3141 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:25 pm

Matt Z wrote:PS.) I can say from personal experience that it is possible to shed bodyfat, at least up to a point, while building muscle mass and increasing stregth. However, typically it's quicker/ easier to focus on one goal at a time (bulking or cutting).
I have done that as well. The funny thing is I still ate like no calories and lifting (no calories being probably about 900-1200 a day for about 2-3 months) and did not lose any strength, just tons of fat. I am not ever going to try "bulking" again, as I put fat on quicker than just about anyone else I know. I don't care if it takes me a little longer to get a little stronger, as I am 23 and have a lifetime to lift. I went from like 170 pounds to 230 pounds, and am now back down to around 180. This is over a period of about 3 years: I just took advice from a bunch of other people I knew that when I was really lifting I just ate as much as I could. Of course, I did put on muscle, but way too much fat. And I was so accustomed to eating so much that it took me forever to get the motivation to really cut back on my diet. For me, being fat was a curse I am glad to get rid of. Some people do not seem to mind: even those that lift like crazy. But I say, in the end, you might be able to get stronger, but you are going to be more "desirable" and respectable even if you are not as strong, but look healither. Just my two cents.

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Post by Matt Z » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:24 pm

About two years ago, I started training again after a layoff of more than a year. In my first 6 months I was able to gain 20 lbs, while losing several inches off my waist. Since then, I've lost another 5-10 lbs while adding some muscle and signifigantly improving overall strength.

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