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  1. #1
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    How Much Muscle Can You Really Gain Naturally?

    That’s a question I have been asked at least 8,973,172,984 times in my career, and I never felt comfortable answering it for various reasons, some of which would be obvious to some, not so obvious to others… Here, once and for all, is my attempt at answering that question…

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    Will,

    I find your posts very informative. Thank you.

    If I understand you correctly, one can only gain so much muscle naturally (I won't say how much, so people will still see it in context in the video). How about strength? Do the same/similar limits apply to strength and can you quantify it for me/us?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by hopperja; 10-24-2010 at 05:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
    Will,

    I find your posts very informative. Thank you.

    If I understand you correctly, one can only gain so much muscle naturally (I won't say how much, so people will still see it in context in the video). How about strength? Do the same/similar limits apply to strength and can you quantify it for me/us?

    Thanks again!
    Good question. Obviously there has to be a limit to how much strength one can gain, but too many variables there to give any accurate numbers. I'll try and give that one some more thought in terms of some "average" most people can gain in strength.

    There's a direct interrelationship between strength and muscle mass, but it's not a 1:1 relationship and quite individual, so really tough one to judge.
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    There is a limit to how much muscle a person can gain naturally. The thing is that 99% of people never reach that level because their diet and exercise program are either inconsistent or inadequate. Also most people have no concept of what is achievable naturally thanks to the media prominently displaying so many people who are using steroids. I can tell you that I know a couple of guys who are 100% natural, but absolutely huge. They spent 15-20 years training and slowly adding muscle mass and building strength. Add on to that the fact that they are in the 15-20% BF range and the fact that they are 250+ pounds is not surprising, and those results were not unobtainable without juice. However, someone who doesn't know these guys will claim all day that it is impossible to get that big without juice.
    What is Perseverance?
    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus259 View Post
    Now when you say "naturally", are you referring to people who go to the gym, lift heavy, bench, squat, WITHOUT the use of supplements? Or by "naturally" do you mean with nutrition/diet and just the use of say push ups, sit ups, etc. Things that everyone can do?
    In this context. I mean people not using anabolic steroids.
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    Will, I watched the video, and you answer Exodus259's question in the video.

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    In my opinion, supplement use can still be natural. Taking supplements such as protein, creatine monohydrate, glutamine, BAAC's and fish oil are all ones that you can get naturally. When you are overworking your body to the extremes to create muscle growth, your body needs the correct amounts of these to grow/rebuild muscle tissue. Its annoying when people seem to think im not a natural bodybuilder since I take these. Im just trying to feed my body to keep up with the hard work its enduring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
    Will, I watched the video, and you answer Exodus259's question in the video.
    His and the 8,973,172,984 who have asked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus259 View Post
    I asked if "natural" meant going to a gym, or doing exercises without equipment naturally
    What exactly would be unnatural about lifting weights at the gym?
    Some people are only alive because it's illegal to kill them.

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    hopefully nothing or im screwed

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    I pounded sand and uncovered the following...

    Starting at 2:18 Will defines naturally as not using drugs. In context, Will clearly lays out that with genetics there will be a normalized distribution of strength gains. There will also be a variety of supplements used, workouts etc. However, no drugs, which I understood to mean no steroids. This is why Will is speaking in very broad terms.

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    Lol way to pound the sand

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus259 View Post
    Ok, so he just said it's not using drugs. Hence why I asked my question about the different exercises as well. I should know by now to draw everything crayon for most of the people here.

    K9, I just asked what was his definition of "natural". Not everyone has access to gym or a weight set, etc. I was just curious if he meant natural strength from different machines and what not, or as-in things everyone can do. That's all
    The term "natural' itself is without any scientific value, but "non drug assisted" does not have the same ring to it for people, so I used the term people are familiar with: "natural." Below is a more indepth discussion on why "natural" and the common term "all natural" have no real value:

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    Wow, sounds like some 'roid rage there, guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by OperatorEX View Post
    Will, thanks for the video. I respect your opinion as I've seen your results and know somewhat about your resume/experience but I can see how this video will be quite controversial around the body building world. Anyways, I'm sure you knew that and good on you for putting it out there.
    It's been controversial for sure. People ask questions they don't want honest answers to, then get ****ed when you give them an answer that does not jibe with the BS they are fed via the mags, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewem07 View Post
    In my opinion, supplement use can still be natural. Taking supplements such as protein, creatine monohydrate, glutamine, BAAC's and fish oil are all ones that you can get naturally. When you are overworking your body to the extremes to create muscle growth, your body needs the correct amounts of these to grow/rebuild muscle tissue. Its annoying when people seem to think im not a natural bodybuilder since I take these. Im just trying to feed my body to keep up with the hard work its enduring.
    I've always found it interesting that pounding down 300+ grams of protein, BCAAs, B12 injections, creatine overload, thermogenics, and nitrates are considered being natural, but the second you take oral or injectible steroids or HGH (things your body produces NATURALLY), you no longer fall into that category. For the longest time, I had the hardest time putting on weight or making strength gains. It wasn't until I went to an endocrinologist and found out my natural testosterone levels were equivelant to an 80 year old man that I found out why. That's when I really started researching testosterone and discovered how much misinformation is out there, and that thousands and thousands of men suffer from low T and don't even realize it (and due to such negative stigma about steroids, most doctors won't even test or treat it).


    It's sad really, because when used properly under medical guidance, steroids have amazing qualities and relatively few side effects. The cases of people dying directly from steroid use (almost always abuse) are few and far between, while we have 500,000 people a year dying from alcohol and tobacco which are sold in every grocery store in the US. Deaths in the US every year for medication like non-prescription aspirin and ibuprofin are over 7000. Deaths from marijuana use are practically nil as well. I just don't understand how the gov't decides what is ok and what isn't, especially when all this data is readibly available. Our country spends 42 billion a year to combat marijuana and yet we have vending machines for cigarettes. I personally have never smoked marijuana, and wouldn't even if it were legal (I don't drink or smoke cigarettes either), it just doesn't make sense to me how the govt categorizes some seemingly benign drugs as the devil, but simply ignores drugs that kill half a million Americans a year (That's over 150 times more deaths than 9/11).

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    Quote Originally Posted by EBDO View Post
    I've always found it interesting that pounding down 300+ grams of protein, BCAAs, B12 injections, creatine overload, thermogenics, and nitrates are considered being natural, but the second you take oral or injectible steroids or HGH (things your body produces NATURALLY), you no longer fall into that category.
    As you can see from my vid above, the term "natural" is without any real meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by EBDO View Post
    For the longest time, I had the hardest time putting on weight or making strength gains. It wasn't until I went to an endocrinologist and found out my natural testosterone levels were equivelant to an 80 year old man that I found out why. That's when I really started researching testosterone and discovered how much misinformation is out there, and that thousands and thousands of men suffer from low T and don't even realize it (and due to such negative stigma about steroids, most doctors won't even test or treat it).
    Agreed, but that's rapidly changing, See: http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...t=testosterone
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    Natural truly is without any real meaning. When I say natural, I mean non-hormonal (steroids, pro-hormones, HGH, etc). I don't consider a person using supplements of vitamins, nutrients, or minerals that are found in foods we eat as being unnatural. Saying that a person taking creatine and protein supplements is unnatural to me would be like saying a person eating a steak is unnatural as it contains creatine and protein. Saying that taking fish oil is unnatural would be like someone saying eating salmon is unnatural.
    What is Perseverance?
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    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.

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    Just found this thread. Good videos!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKansan View Post
    There is a limit to how much muscle a person can gain naturally. The thing is that 99% of people never reach that level because their diet and exercise program are either inconsistent or inadequate.
    All true, but genetics still rules the day.

    If you aint got the genetics for it, no amount of desire will change it. I can desire all I want to run like an Olympic sprinter, win a national level bodybuilding show, or break records at the Boston Marathon, it still will not happen drugs or no drugs. Hence, genetics, is the number one factor at the end of the day.

    Your genetics are a major factor of how you respond to exercise. People never like hearing that fact...

    For example, individual differences VO2max are found with aerobic training with people put on identical protocols. Some are "super responders" some are average responders and some are total non responders.

    Take a look at the Heritage study below, which has even identified specific genes that tells them who will respond well to aerobic exercise and who will not!

    Some day, I'm sure those genes responsible for why some respond so well to resistance training and others don't, will also be isolated.

    HERITAGE --Genetics, Response to Exercise, Risk Factors


    Introduction

    It is widely recognized that individuals can respond quite differently to a given intervention, such as drugs, diet, or exercise. For instance, there are considerable individual differences in improvement in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max; measure of aerobic endurance capacity) with aerobic training.

    Studies conducted with young or older adults have typically reported gains in VO2max ranging from almost 0% to 50%, even though all the subjects completed exactly the same training program under close supervision. Scientists had previously assumed that these variations result from differing degrees of compliance with the training program, i.e., good compliers have the highest percentage of improvement and poor compliers show little or no improvement.

    However, it is now clear that even when there is full compliance with the program, substantial variations occur in the percentage improvements in VO2max values of different people. The same principle is also thought to apply to other physical activity-related phenotypes, including differences in response of the various risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Moreover, previous studies conducted with identical twins have suggested that heredity plays a major role in determining to what degree the body adapts to an intervention such as an exercise training program.

    Cont:

    http://www.pbrc.edu/heritage/index.html
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    Maximum of 10 pounds a year if you are killing yourself.

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