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FrederickSebastian

Vanity vs. Longevity

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So -- to put my story short: I have been overweight for just over a decade and came from a place where I was 5'2" weighed 130lbs and had 4% body fat and eight-pack abs. I am now 220 (roughly) and want to lose weight so I am altering my diet for less calories. My question is: Can I maintain a rather muscular-frame while on CR later on this year when I am under 140lbs? My preference would be to be about 140lbs and JACKED rather than 120 lbs or less and thin which most serious CR-dieters find themself being.

Is it possible to follow a CR-diet and be muscular or can one only be thin?

I was also thinking about going on a bodybuilder's diet (more calories) for about a decade then in 2030 going CRON for life... Will I still reap the longevity benefits if I choose to wait until later to start the CRON diet or would it be wise to start right away? I want to live long but I also want to have a nice body!

What would you do if you were me?

Edited by FrederickSebastian

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I struggle with the same question.  I think that in order to have the muscle size that you want, you are going to need more protein than would be theoretically ideal for longevity.

You can be big, strong and shredded- but that maybe isn’t the best path to try to live to 110yrs.  
My personal opinion is to go for it- with plenty of muscle you have mobility, confidence, high quality of life- and you can still be extremely healthy while following a bodybuilding lifestyle - especially adding in so much of the knowledge on these forums wrt foods and other lifestyle habits.

 I usually eat 2000kCal - I stay strong but lean - with a shirt on I look like skinny - more size would be nice but it requires more protein and more lifting.

Edited by Clinton

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1 hour ago, FrederickSebastian said:

Is it possible to follow a CR-diet and be muscular or can one only be thin?

If you're on CR you'll be thin.

1 hour ago, FrederickSebastian said:

I was also thinking about going on a bodybuilder's diet (more calories) for about a decade then in 2030 going CRON for life... Will I still reap the longevity benefits if I choose to wait until later to start the CRON diet or would it be wise to start right away?

Living like a BB'er for 10 years will give you tons of muscle memory and strength that'll will stick with you for a very long time - 10-15yrs ago I lifted very heavily and these days I can get away with lifting just a couple days per week and still maintain decent size and strength.  Also, having the extra muscle mass makes it much easier to shed fat if/when you happen to add a little.

1 hour ago, FrederickSebastian said:

I want to live long but I also want to have a nice body!

The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive - you can have both.

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@Clinton --> thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My next question for you is: Can a person whose aim is longevity consume a large amount of protein during the day or could I even eat a "regular" amount of protein while trying to gain muscle? The book "The CR Way" advises not to eat a lot of protein (I think it's mostly because of the kidneys) but I'm not sure, so I'm hesitant to add a lot of protein to my day though I love everything about protein. I love the way I feel during a day when I've had a few whey protein shakes and/or a few protein bars. I think so much clearer and feel so much healthier. Right up until I got my eight pack abs back in 2008, I was drinking several cups of whey protein and eating several protein bars every day and felt wonderful... I want to eat right for longevity and also muscle growth -> and then maintenance once I get where I wanna be. I see so many people on facebook's bodybuilding group say they want bigger and bigger and bigger muscles... I will reach a point where enough is enough and I'll just want to maintain...

 

I'd appreciate your help!

Thanks, @Clinton

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Frederick,

The concern with protein isn't just about the kidneys. 

Protein and especially certain branch chain amino acids strongly affect 'nutrient sensing pathways'.  Even if you're consuming low calories, if the protein is kept high, the body doesn't go into the protective and pro-longevity state that would otherwise happen.  Protein upregulates mTOR which allows muscle growth, but it is a pro-aging pathway.  Keep in mind that down-regulation of mTOR decreases cancer and seems to extend lifespan; think of drugs like rapamycin, and even things like coffee, asprin and EGCg from green tea; all down-regulate mTOR. 

I also love whey in my shakes/smoothies, but I only use 1 tablespoon, and it's my only dedicate protein source in that meal.  I think if you take in no more than 70 or 75g per day of protein - say .5g per pound of bodyweight that it is enough to give you the muscle size and strength that most guys would be really satisfied with.  1g per pound mantra espoused on bodybuilding websites is imo WAY more that is needed.  

No one wants to spend hours lifting iron and then procede to impede the muscle gain that they could have had by eating too little protien.  However, unless you are trying to hit the bb stage, you can look awesome with .5g protein per lb of bodyweight.  A can of sardines OR 2 eggs w veggies is just enough protein lunch for example to meet your needs.  Breakfast with a 1/4 cup nuts, 1/4 cup oatmeal, berries and 1 tbsp of whey is also adequate protein.  Both of those meals are micro-nutrient dense and have lots of fiber.  I've been able to do dips and chins with 100-110lbs on a weighted belt and only consuming 70g (approx.) of protein per day.

 

An excellent paper (that is very easy to read) by Luigi Fontana and Linda Partridge summarizes all of this (imho) very well.  THis is one of my favorite papers on diet and longevity - I have read many times:

Promoting Health and Longevity through Diet:

From Model Organisms to Humans

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25815989/

I hope this helps,

Clinton

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OK @Clinton, Thanks. I will keep that in mind -> .5g of protein per lb of body weight...

Can you tell me what a good weight for myself would be without being overly bulky or overly skinny?... I feel like I can judge it by looks, but in my profile picture I was ~130lbs and I'm thinking once I drop off all the extra fat on my body that 140ish would be a good weight (I want people to see me and just be like "that guy is jacked" when I take my shirt off at the beach)... 

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Nothing is nicer being at the beach or pool and people noticing you - and you see them looking - it's a nice reward for the hard work and discipline that it takes.

I'm going to say something that took me years to really learn:  you will turn more heads with moderate muscles and being shredded than by adding even 15 more pounds of muscle but having more body fat, say enough fat to eliminate the 6-pack.

But if jacked is your goal then here's my advice.

1-make sure you take at least 5g per day of creatine monohydrate (and as per Michael Rae's recommendation always try to only buy the Creapure) brand.  This is the one I buy, you won't beat the price or quality anywhere: tbh I'd start with 10g per day for the first couple weeks.

https://www.betterhealthinternational.com/jarrow-formulas-creatine-monohydrate-kilo-35-3-oz-1-kg

2-the only other otc supplement with evidence in improving performance (as far as I'm concerned) is another supplement that Michael Rae takes:  Beta-Alanine.  So not only are both creatine and beta-alanine helpful with strength and thus muscle mass, but also part of a longevity regimen.  I take at least 2g (maybe even up to 4g if you want to push it - lol) per day of this:

https://www.betterhealthinternational.com/now-foods-beta-alanine-pure-powder-500-g-17-6-oz

At 5'-2" 140lbs with very little fat, you'll look jacked and ripped.

Here is a similar workout program that I'll use in the summer since it's a little top-heavy and well ... you want upper-body size.  Don't ignore the legs is my advice, but my days of 365+ squats and deads are not even an option.  If you do this; it'll give you the look that you want.

https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/the-v-taper-workout-and-diet-plan

Essentially you work out 5 days per week.  This is how I do it:

1 day horizontal push & pull (I do db bench and rows and a tricep excercise - I prefer bar/cable press-downs)

1 day vertical push & pull (I do standing db shoulder press and pull-ups or chin-ups and a bicep exercise - I prefer lying incline db curls)

lower body (legs & abs)  for me this is db deads, walking db lunges, ab-wheel roll-outs, hanging leg-raises and crunches

day off

1 day horizontal push & pull (I do db bench and rows and a tricep excercise - I prefer bar/cable press-downs)

1day vertical push & pull (I do standing db shoulder press and pull-ups or chin-ups and a bicep exercise - I prefer lying incline db curls)

day off

For muscle size, I'd stick with 3 sets of 10 reps to failure on the first set; you might not get 10 on the next set, but push yourself - go to failure.  If you can get 10-9-8 reps and each set was done with maximum effort you're going to make gains.  I will sometimes go 5 sets of 5-6 reps because I'm a strength-junky.  The main thing here is that with either set/rep scheme you are getting a total of 25-30 quality reps.

And if you want to drop fat and gain muscle as fast as possible, you can go up to 1g per pound of bodyweight - it won't hurt you - I did it for years and I was much bigger than I am today - like 30lbs heavier - and it wasn't fat.

Edited by Clinton

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Lifting is healthy for life.

 I am at times a bit surprised that more people aren’t posting more on these forums about resistance training tbh.

Edited by Clinton

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@Clinton -- Thanks for the advice!! I will look at that workout you sent me a link to later on this week... I only browsed over it since there was so much... I truly appreciate your help... Once I am done dieting to lose all the fat I want to lose, I am going to start trying to gain muscle...


Thanks for the help!

Happy Dieting!!!

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