I've explained that unless you lack a foundation of strength, the only way you can build muscle while losing fat is if you've trained before, are a genetic freak or use steroids. Otherwise it's almost impossible.
Today I want to show you how snake oil companies try to fool you into buying their stuff by using things like Muscle Memory to make you believe that you can actually build muscle while losing fat even though you can't.
In 1973 Arthur Jones conducted the "Colorado experiment" to prove that his training method worked. Jones was the inventor of the Nautilus equipment that you see everywhere in gyms today. You know, crap like that friggin' Bowflex that I'm telling you NOT to use because it's less effective than free weights.
2 subjects participated to the Colorado experiment: Arthur Jones himself and the bodybuilder Casey Viator which you can see in the picture above. Both guys used a HIT training method using machines. Here were their muscle gains...
|Casey Viator (28 Days)||Arthur Jones (22 Days)|
|Lean Muscle Gain||63.21lbs||15.44lbs|
You read that right, Casey Viator gained 63lbs of lean muscle in 28 days. 63lbs. Now you know that I'm all about fast, dramatic gains. After all I gained 45lbs since I got into strength training and so did...
- SL Member Ben gained 25lbs in 25 days and 44lbs in 4 months
- SL Member Gabriel gained 20lbs in 30 days and 44lbs in 11 months
- SL Member Jake gained over 70lbs in just 2 years
BUT I've NEVER seen anyone gain 63lbs pure muscle in 28 days. Even Arthur Jones only gained 15lbs. Why has nobody else ever gained 63lbs that fast? Because it's IMPOSSIBLE. Unless - and here it comes - you're dealing with someone who is a) a genetic freak b) using muscle memory c) on steroids.
Casey Viator was a genetic freak, this guy won his first Mr Universe at age 19. More important to you is that he lost over 30lbs before doing this experiment (he almost died from an allergic reaction to a tetanus injection). So what you're seeing here is a guy who gained 45lbs, but of which over 30lbs is just muscle memory combined with genetics. Some even say Casey Viator used steroids.
So that's actually not so far off the 25lbs that my SL Member Ben gained in 25 days. The reason why Ben gained "less" is that he didn't use steroids; never lifted weights in his life before; and is (like me) definitely not a genetic freak.
Supplement companies fake before/after pictures by paying experienced, drug-using lifters to stop training so they lose muscle and get fat, and then get back in shape quickly using muscle memory (and photoshop).
I always say you got to aim high, and you can definitely build an amazing physique naturally. But you must set realistic expectations about how long this will take you. Check my SL Success Stories for actual and documented examples of the body and strength you can achieve naturally with StrongLifts 5x5.
Tomorrow I’ll continue where I left last time – what should you do if you need to lose fat but also want to build muscle? Stay tuned for my answer.