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hypothetical: if i stop using protein powder, would I lose my gains?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here's the thing, my natural weight is 140 and I'm 5'11. I want to put on some weight for when I apply to the military (soon). I've improved my diet since I started working out but it's not really a body builder's diet b/c I still don't eat enough.

My concern is that assuming I use protein powder and the like to bulk-up, won't I just lose anything I've gained as soon as I come off of it? Once I'm in the military I'll obviously stay in good shape (especially in the infantry), but without the extra protein will I quickly return to my natural size?
post #2 of 12
Just make sure you eat at least maintenance calories for your new weight and you shouldn't lose the new muscle.
post #3 of 12
1. in specific response to your question - you need a certain amount of calories and protien to keep your weight at a certain level, taking into account the amount of excersize you do. the division of protien, fat and carbs will effect how your body treats the calories that you eat. if you stop taking protien, and do not replace it with some other calories, and keep the same level of exersize, something will have to go. if you replace the calories with carbs or fat, then that may (depending on who you believe) effect your testostorone level and the percentage of your body wieght that is muscle.

2. what will probrably happen, in any event, is that you will go into the army with a stronger set of muscles, and your body will lose some muscle and gain some cardio endurance power - good infantrymen are lean, not muscular, and you will be spending a great deal more time and effort walking and running, rather than lifting weight.

3. I would pack on as much musle as you can - it can only help, but I would also run and walk and climb stairs, too.

congratulations on your thoughts on joining the brotherhood of grunts. pm me if you want any additional questions answered, if I can help I would be happy to.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
1. in specific response to your question - you need a certain amount of calories and protien to keep your weight at a certain level, taking into account the amount of excersize you do. the division of protien, fat and carbs will effect how your body treats the calories that you eat. if you stop taking protien, and do not replace it with some other calories, and keep the same level of exersize, something will have to go. if you replace the calories with carbs or fat, then that may (depending on who you believe) effect your testostorone level and the percentage of your body wieght that is muscle.

2. what will probrably happen, in any event, is that you will go into the army with a stronger set of muscles, and your body will lose some muscle and gain some cardio endurance power - good infantrymen are lean, not muscular, and you will be spending a great deal more time and effort walking and running, rather than lifting weight.

3. I would pack on as much musle as you can - it can only help, but I would also run and walk and climb stairs, too.

congratulations on your thoughts on joining the brotherhood of grunts. pm me if you want any additional questions answered, if I can help I would be happy to.

Lean is a euphamism when applied to me. Carrying around a 25kg ruck sack and who knows what else while on really long excersises, the extra muscle mass is pretty much a requirement for me. I NEED to put on that weight or I'll be hurting pretty bad imo ;p
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
Lean is a euphamism when applied to me. Carrying around a 25kg ruck sack and who knows what else while on really long excersises, the extra muscle mass is pretty much a requirement for me. I NEED to put on that weight or I'll be hurting pretty bad imo ;p
I am wondering if you shouldn't be training more for endurance than for muscle mass? Protein is still good but for all of the excercise you will be doing, calories would (IMO) seem slightly more important than protein (shakes). The fat and extra weight (muscle weight) is going to fly off when you start doing long, long walks / runs and 1000's of pushups. What about doing some endurance training? Lots of calories but not as much protein.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
Lean is a euphamism when applied to me. Carrying around a 25kg ruck sack and who knows what else while on really long excersises, the extra muscle mass is pretty much a requirement for me. I NEED to put on that weight or I'll be hurting pretty bad imo ;p
This is correct, you're on the right path. You won't necessarily lose your gains once you come off the protein powder, but since coming off the juice will likely coincide with boot camp, you can expect to lose some weight there. Your best bet right now is a combined gain/cardio routine, concentrated on explosive muscle movements rather than "slow and steady" bulking. I'm actually getting ready to begin a similar program, without the cardio. I'll PM you details.
post #7 of 12
From people I know who have been using them, it doesn't seem likely that you'll start loosing mass UNLESS you change your eating/working out routine. The problem is that people often stop using them at the same time that they give up on working out and resume their bad eating habits. Oh and to add to the previous comments, infantrymen I know normaly look extra lean because of all the running around they do.

BTW from your other posts I gathered that you were a professional working in a downtown office in Montreal, what motivated your move in the military, if I may be impolite enough to inquire?
post #8 of 12
My experience is that most new recruits, particularly within combat arms, lose rather significant amounts of weight during their initial 4 - 8 weeks of training. You'll be engaged in more physical activities than what you're probably used to, and your caloric intake will more than likely decrease.

You sound fairly lean already, so your experience may be quite different. I spent a couple summers during my USMA college years at Ft Benning, Georgia, and I can assure you that is most difficult to maintain your body weight in that weather / environment. If you're already in good physical condition (e.g. can run 5 KM in under 20 minutes) then go ahead an bulk up!
post #9 of 12
As with any situation, the muscles you no longer work as intensly while in the army will atrophy. The protein itself isn't what is making your muscles larger; your muscle cells are adapting to the increased strain placed on them. Naturally, they need protein to do this, but you should be getting plenty of protein in your normal diet. I have made amazing gains without using any protein powder. The only time I've found it useful is when I'm not able to eat enough meat products on a regular basis. I think protein supplements tend to promote weight gain in general, simply because the shakes contains plenty of carbs and calories, so your numerical weight will probably drop from a combination of no more supplements and increased cardio in the army. A heavier body weight helps out in some exercises, but nothing that will be useful in the armed forces.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma
BTW from your other posts I gathered that you were a professional working in a downtown office in Montreal, what motivated your move in the military, if I may be impolite enough to inquire?

Well, the short and simple version is complete boredom. For a whole number of reasons I want to get out of the office environment. I just don't see it making me happy in the long-run. Although I have an aptitude for a lot of professional type jobs, I think I'm finally realizing that the types of careers I've always thought I wanted don't really make me happy so it's time for some changes.

Although I've posted some personal stuff in the past, I deliberately didn't make a post about this b/c I've been reading the canadian army forums and they get a lot of posers. I don't want to come-off as one so if you want details for whatever reason feel free to PM me.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all the advice.

Question, I've seen statements like you should eat 18x your weight (40%pro/30carbs/30fat) in calories to make serious gains. My first thought is that that's a LOT. Do I really need to eat that much? Will eating 3 bigger meals a day as opposed to 6 smalls ones really make it difficult for me to make gains?

If that is a valid rule of thumb for a mass-gaining diet, what multiple would help me maintain the new weight? Or, assuming I put on 15lbs, how many calories would i need to eat to keep that weight? Obviously what they feed me is going to dictate what I eat, but I'm curious.

Btw I'm not trying to give the impression that I want to put on a lot of weight. My natural weight is 140 and no matter how much I eat and how little excercise I do, it never fluctuates. I just feel I need to add some mass so that I can more easily deal with trecking around with heavy loads. Right now I'm just too skinny for it imo. I want to join in great shape. I don't want to be the guy at the back of the pack with the sargeants boot up my ass ;p
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
Question, I've seen statements like you should eat 18x your weight (40%pro/30carbs/30fat) in calories to make serious gains. My first thought is that that's a LOT. Do I really need to eat that much? Will eating 3 bigger meals a day as opposed to 6 smalls ones really make it difficult for me to make gains?

It's less than you think, and you get used to the increased calories. As for the 6 times a day as opposed to 3 thing, my understanding was always that part of the point of that was to keep your blood sugar up throughout the day. If you go for hours and hours without eating, then hit your body with a thousand calories, and do this a few times a day, your blood sugar will fluctuate heavily and the extra calories are more likely to be stored as fat than they are to be used for muscle gains. Basically, the idea is that as much of your gains as possible need to be in muscle mass, and while it's impossible to ensure that ALL the gain is in muscle, you want the best ratio of muscle to fat that you can get. Eating six or more meals a day in smaller portions is more conducive to this.
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Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Health & Body › hypothetical: if i stop using protein powder, would I lose my gains?