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Another Look at the Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI): Part 3

FFMIOk,it’s time to to finish my look at the fat free mass index (FFMI) so I can move on to something else whenever I get a bug up my butt to write again.  In Part 1, I examined what the FFMI represents (ostensibly an indicator or screening tool for anabolic steroid use) along with some of the various criticisms that have been brought against it (revolving around late 19th century strongmen and some questionably natural Mr. Universe competitors).

In Part 2, I started with an addendum to Part 1, examining the simple fact that tesotsterone was synthesized in 1937, available by 1940, might have been mentioned in 1938 in the primary bodybuilding/fitness magazine of the time and was assuredly in use to some degree by the mid 1940’s.  This raises severe questions about the claim that any top bodybuilders (including Grimek who had a supposed FFMI higher than Arnold’s in 1941) were natural.… Keep Reading

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Another Look at the Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI): Part 2

Today I want to continue looking at the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI) and the idea that exceeding a cutoff point of 25 kg/h^2 is indicative, suggestive or even proves anabolic steroid use.  In Part 1, I defined the concept and looked at the original paper that kicked all of this off.  I also looked at some of the counterarguments against the idea that have been made both online and in an article by Jan Todd in Iron Game History.

Today I want to continue with a re-examination of the topic by first making an addendum to the last part that is critically important.  Then I want to  look at an important physiological distinction and then examining a slightly different issue which is the upper limits of FFM that a human might carry to begin with.  I’ll finish by asking a cliffhanger question to set up the third and final part.… Keep Reading

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Another Look at the Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI): Part 1

For no other reason than because it’s on my mind, I want to look at the topic of the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI) and the idea that it does or does not indicate a natural limit for bodybuilders/weight trainers.   Actually, I take that back, writing this is due to me finding a post I made several months back in my Facebook group when I looked in some detail at a paper that was referenced at me in an attempt to disprove or dismiss the idea that an FFMI cutoff existed.

The idea, as I’ll detail below had to do with the suggestion that there was a cutoff for FFMI that did or could be used to indicate that someone was or was not using anabolic steroids. Since the original concept was originated back in 1995, there has been a lot of back and forth about the topic.  I suspect it kicked off some of the FAKE NATTY nonsense and I’ve seen various counterarguments against there being a specific FFMI limit that can be used to determine if someone is natural or not.… Keep Reading

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Determining Calorie Intake for Muscle Gain

Muscle Gain Daily Calorie Surplus

So there is a fairly short list of topics that I keep meaning to write about and never seem to get around to (I’m running out of stuff to talk about).  Today is one of those since it addresses a question that gets asked fairly frequently.   And having officially released my Nutrition for Injury Recovery e-book, it’s time to finally get around to it.

That question has to do with what kind of calorie surplus is optimal for muscle gain.  That is, people continuously ask what kind of daily, or weekly, or monthly surplus is required to optimize muscle gain and hopefully avoid excessive fat gain.  And, at long last, having run out of podcasts to post links to for a bit, I want to address that question.

Now I have mentioned this at least obliquely in earlier articles, primarily the one on the energy balance equation but I want to look at it more comprehensively here. … Keep Reading

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The Transition Phase Between Dieting and Gaining

I received a question in my mailbox having to do with manipulating calories and macronutrients for optimal transitioning from gaining to dieting phases and vice versa and this seemed like an excellent impetus to write about this topic in some detail.  Because while a lot of people tend to jump back and forth from one to the other (often, I think, spinning their wheels a bit), taking a more long-term approach, a nutritional periodization of sorts, can be beneficial in terms of working with rather than against the body’s inherent physiology.

Bulking to Dieting Transition Phase: The Pre-Diet Phase

Way back in the early days of bodybuilding you would hear physique athletes talk about a “hardening phase” which was meant as a transition from their off-season bulking to their contest diet.  Now, in hindsight, it probably had as much to do with switching out their drugs from heavy androgens to more anabolic compounds to reduce water retention but it basically entailed “cleaning up the diet” to prepare for the actual contest prep.   … Keep Reading