Muscle Memory a Myth?

Bodybuilders spend years building up their muscle mass. That is why most bodybuilders hate cutting because they know in the process they will lose some of their hard earned muscle while they lose fat. Most bodybuilders think that if you take off a few months from lifting or you get injured or sick, you will have to start all over again taking many months or years to build muscle back. However, this is not true. Instead you will experience a much easier time gaining muscle often called “Muscle memory”.

I’ve had personal experience with muscle memory. As a hardgainer, it took years and tons of effort to put on a lot of weight. When I got off my diet for a couple years, I lost a ton of weight. When I got back on a higher calorie and higher protein diet again, I immediately started gaining weight and muscle back quickly. Muscle memory doesn't mean the muscle just flys on with no effort, what it means is that you will get there a lot quicker with the same effort as before.

What causes muscle memory?

There is no research studies on what causes muscle memory. I don't think there could even be a way to measure how to even find the cause. However, I think the cause of muscle memory can be pinned down to some possibilities. Your first guess for the cause of muscle memory, maybe might with hormones, like Testosterone and Growth hormone. This can't be the cause because studies have shown when you raise calories, these hormones goes up for about a couple weeks, but it drops again after that. Muscle memory can last months, not just a couple weeks. It wouldn't make sense anyways, since anytime you start back on a new diet, your anabolic hormones are going to go high anyways in the beginning, regardless of what your muscle base was in the past.

Another theory could be hyperplasia. Hypertrophy is the growing of the diameter of the muscle fibers, by sythesizing new protein. Hyperplasia is the division of muscle fibers to make new fibers. Many have argued that hyerplasia doesn't exist in humans, but from my research I believe it does. I believe muscle gains are from both hypertrophy and from a little bit of hyperplasia. Heavy weight training can help induce hyperplasia. Therefore, it could be easier to gain the muscle back in the future because you now have more muscle fibers to work with, that have potential to grow.

The most common theory I've seen bodybuilders explain for muscle fascia tissue is fascia stretching. There is a connective tissue that tightly hugs around muscles, called the fascia. Some theorize that fascia helps slow down muscle building because muscles can't grow with it binding. Once you stretch the fascia, it tends not to shrink back. Some have incorporated fascia tissue stretches with weights into their weight training routine, including pro-bodybuilders Jay Cutler. These deep stretches help permanently stretch the fascia tissue. From my research I'm also a firm believer in fascia stretching to help muscle gains, so I often incorporate it into my workouts.

I personally believe muscle memory is caused by a combination of hyperplasia, fascia stretching, and maybe some other unknown factors. It may be caused by hyperplasia alone, or fascia stretching alone, we don't know. Muscle memory is a fascinating thing and it's good to know that if we hit a rough time and can't follow diet and training, we can get our gains back much easier in the future thanks to muscle memory.

Does Changing Workout Routines Prevent Plateaus?

The idea of a plateau is commonly misunderstood among weightlifter. The idea that gains will stop suddenly doesn’t make sense to people. Eventually all weightlifters will experience a halt in their muscle and strength gains after a few weeks. I've seen some people lift the same weights and excercises for months and wonder why their gains halt. You cannot expect to do the same exact workout and always gain. Eventually, your body overadapts and your gains halt. Your body does not like major change, so it was setup to only have short bursts of change at a time.

That is where the principles of periodization come in. The Periodization Method was actually developed for strength athletes by a Russian named Leo Matveyev. The purpose of periodization is to change your workout in phases after a specic amount of weeks, in order to prevent your body from adapting to workouts. The differences in phases are based on different types of training. For example, one phase is for muscle growth, the next is for power, then followed by a strength phase, and another for light weights. I personally believe besides keeping your body from plateauing, changing your workout also helps you in the long run because it gives your muscles a more well rounded development. By drastically changing your workout intensity you stimulate different fibers and stimulate them in a different manner, leading to different adaptions of the muscle. This well rounded development can only help you in the long run.

It may seem silly to work with light weights or on power, if your goal is muscle growth. The point of periodization, was to take 2 steps forward and one step back. By constantly changing the workout and how your muscles were stimulated you kept one step ahead of a permanent plateau. Another way to look at is, When you go up a hill you have to change to a lower gear on a clutch in order to eventually get over it, you don't simply try to hit the gas pedal and burn your engine trying to get up it. Likewise, simply trying to stack on more and more weight won't always work. You have to change your workout or you will stop getting stronger no matter how much weight you stack on.

Periodization controversy

Not everyone is at a consensus that Periodization is better than simply adding weights (progressive overload principle). There are some workout routines, such as HIT, and some bodybuilding gurus that don't believe in radically changing workout routines to avoid plateaus. I think the only reason why some have gained on HIT is because they were doing other workouts before HIT and it was just new gains to a new routine. Taking weeks off of training can also desensitize your body, and make it less likely to hit a plateau from the same routine. I consider taking a few weeks off every once in a while, a crude form of periodization. When you take a break and come back to weight training your body is going to gain muscle and possibly bust through your old plateau because you are shocking it after a long layoff. Studies have shown that those who followed periodization gained more strength and muscle than those who didn't. I've only been able to get past workout plateaus by either taking a break or changing my workout radically.

Do bodybuilders need to follow periodzation method?

Periodization is a developed routine method, but you don't have to follow it exactly. The point is you should understand it's principles, to help you understand how to change your workouts at specific phases. If you are always lifting heavy with slow negatives, it would help you to switch to a more endurance and less intense workout for a few weeks. For example higher reps, shorter rest time, and faster negatives to make it a more endurance type workout. Simply switching excercises or their order is not enough, you have to change at least 3 of some of the intensity parameters like rep speed, rest time, rep range, and set volume.


ABCDE stands for Anabolic Burst Cycling of Diet and Excercise. It was developed by a swedish doctor Torbjorn Akerfeldt. It is one of the most radical, yet intriguing bodybuilding diet systems I have found. Suprisingly, the main goal of this diet is not high protein , but instead high calories.

The main premise of the ABCDE diet is that you manipulate your body hormone levels through dieting. Just like weight training helps muscle adaption, you use diet to force your body hormones to respond. How is this done? Well, reasearch has been found by Torbjorn Akerfeldt that showed that testosterone, GH, IGF-1, and other hormones important for muscle building, increase rapidly with an influx of calories. This is not something new, I've known for a while from reading research before reading the ABCDE diet, that high calories increase your anabolic hormones.

What makes the ABCDE diet different from other bodybuilding diets, is that he only advocates short cycles of bulking, followed by a fat loss phase. He found research that shows the anabolic hormones plateau after 2 weeks then start dropping down again. Therefore, he recommends after 2 weeks, you start on a cutting phase for 2 weeks. Then you go back to bulking, so your body responds once again with a surge of testosterone, GH, etc when you go on a bulk. In essence, you are staying one step ahead of your body, and putting it in confusion, forcing it to adapt hormonally.

Interesting enough, you don't even need to weight train to experience some muscle gains. A study done on (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 49.4 (1989) : 608-611) 6 men showed 4 lbs of lean muscle mass gained, with only 2 lbs of fat, when they ate excess calories with no weight training. Of course, muscle gains on this diet would only work well for someone who doesn't lift weights and is new to the diet. You can't epect to gain a lot of muscle mass without ever lifting a weight, or people who take steroids wouldn't lift weights either, since both raise your testosterone levels. Another study published in (J. Nutr. 109.3 (1979) : 363-377) measured differences in net protein utilization in the diet between 15% and 30% over maintenance calories. They found the 30% group used more protein, therefore they were increasing protein synthesis and thefore muscle mass. The point of these study, is that simply eating an excess of calories has an anabolic effect.

Torbjorn Akerfeldt believes that it's more important you get higher calories than higher protein during the bulking phase. Without an excessive amount of calories, you won't cause this surge in hormones. You need a lot of protein to help build muscles, but high calories is the most important. Therefore the ABCDE diet doesn't really focus on counting macronutrient ratios, or clean vs. junk foods. He recommends about a thousand calories above maintenance.

After 2 weeks you then should enter a cutting phase. This is where you lose the excess fat you gained in the first 2 weeks. According to Torbjorn Akerfeldt, the body prefers to hold onto muscle, so you should lose more fat than muscle during this phase. Weight training during the fat loss phase, will help your muscle preservation. Torbjorn recommends restricting calories about a 1000 under maintenance.

It sounds like the ABCDE is a great diet, eat what you want and constantly keep your body from adapting. However, there is a problem I see with this diet. It's tough to follow It is very hard for someone to go from severe restricting calories to eating an very excess overnight. You have to force feed yourself in the beginning of the bulk diet because your appetite is likely to not handle a thousand calorie increase suddenly. If you go from the bulking phase to the fat loss phase, you are going to drop your calories by a couple thousand. It will be hard to not give into cravings, after being on a massive bulking diet just right before that. It will be tremendously hard to then increase calories by 2000 after the fat loss, in order to eat 1000 calories above maintenance.

I've heard hardgainers complain that they usually wind up losing the precious muscle they gained during the fat loss phase of the ABCDE diet. I suppose one could stay longer in the bulking phase (maybe to 3 weeks) and shorten the fat loss phase (maybe to 1 week). Those who gain fat easily, might want to do the opposite and shorten the bulk phase and lengthen the fat loss phase. Another way I suppose you could do things, is increase and decrease calories by smaller amount (like 300-400 above and below maintenance) instead by a 1000, to make the ABCDE diet easier to follow. You could also modify calories based on bodytype and phase. For example, hardgainers eat 1000 calories during bulking, but only restrict calories by 300-400 during dieting). Easygainers with slow metabolism could increase calories by 3 or 400 during bulking and 1000 during diet. I think if you modify the diet a bit for your metabolism and genetics, it will work a lot better than just a 50/50 split between bulking and cutting like with the original ABCDE diet. If your a mesomorph who gains muscle and stays lean naturally, than ABCDE diet is perfect how it is because you don't need to focus on one phase more than the other.

Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle Review

Tom Venuto is the author of the Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle Program. Tom Venuto’s program is not a gimmick, he has been a natural bodybuilder for 23 years and for 18 of those years he was a personal trainer, health club manager, nutritionist, motivation coach and freelance writer for nearly 18 years. Tom's articles and photos have been in big name bodybuilding magazines. He holds a BSc. degree in exercise science, with several certificates. Not only is he book smart, but he practices what he preaches, placing 2nd place in the Mr. Natural USA and 2nd in the Mr. Natural North America.

Tom Venuto doesn't show you a 12 week transformation or some story where he discovered a "magic" routine, that solved it all. Instead he tells you how he struggled for years to find the best solutions for losing fat. He then took that and over his 18 years of experience, he was able to develop a program that works best for fat loss, after trying every thing possible.

Here is a current picture of Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto Picture

Program Overview

Burn The Fat Feed the muscle e-book

Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle e-book is 330 pages, the largest e-book I have come across for a muscle building program. Tom Venuto doesn't hold back, he puts everything he has learned over the years in this book. Everything he says is supported by studies he has found. If your not new to losing fat and just at a plateau, he gives you 10 tips on how to bust through a current plateau. He does a very good job of covering the diet. Tom tells you what calorie level you shouldn't go below to damage your future fat burning efforts, what kind of fats to eat, foods that never turn to fat, how to cycle calories to keep your metabolism and fat burning continuing, and much more. He also has you tailor your diet to your specific bodytype. You figure out your macronutrient ratio by figuring out your metabolic rate, bodytype, and other factors, based on his calculation system. This is important because some programs do not tailor it to peoples genetic and lifestyle differences. He tells you why any of the popular diets used in the mainstream or bodybuilders, like low carb diets, do not work that well.

Tom Venuto's book includes cardio routines and various weight training routines based on your goals. Tom doesn't focus too much on supplements. He believes most supplements don't work, which I agree with. He does a good job of answering some common questions most people will have on dieting. He also provides plenty of useful tips like; how to keep fat off for good, avoiding starvation mode, and keeping your body in a fat burning mode 24/7, to name a few.

The e-book is the most detailed one on fat loss I have yet to see. There is almost no questions left to be answered. It's going to take a while to get through the E-book because Tom Venuto made sure he told you everything, even if it doesn't make it a quick easy read. When you go back and read portions again in the future, you will be glad that he filled you in on every detail. This program comes also with some other e-books, free e-book updates, and a newsletter subscription.


This program is absolutely worth the $39 , if you're looking to lose fat the right way. The e-book is the largest and most detailed one I've seen. It alone is worth the money, not counting the extra bonuses. The purchase is risk free, it comes with a 8 week moneyback guarantee supported by if you aren't satisfied.

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Turbulence Training Review

The Turbulence Training program was created by Craig Ballantyne. Craig is not new to the fitness scene, he has written for fitness magazines, worked as a personal trainer for years and studied at a university to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.

Through his research, he was able to apply studies he found to develop a program called Turbulence training. The goal of turbulence training is to combine fat loss and muscle building in very effective brief workouts, without wasting hours in the gym. Turbulence Training program has received the endorsement of some very well known individuals in the fitness industry and been featured in Men's Health and Men's Fitness magazines.

Here is a current picture of Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne picture

Program Overview

Turbulence Training e-book

The main turbulence training book is 128 pages. The program is designed for those who want to lose fat. The workouts are based around high intensity interval cardio after low repetition high intensity resistance training. Craig has you only workout 3 times a week and change your workouts often to avoid plateaus. Craig also includes sample detailed workouts you can follow to a T. He has various levels of workouts including for beginners. He also has bodyweight excercise workout routines, these aren't your normal ones, these are intense! Craig also covers diet, nutrition, and easy step guides on reaching your fat loss goal.

Everything Craig says is supported by research studies. Nothing he says is pseudo-science or just theory. Some of what he teaches, is stuff I have known for years from reading studies myself. The difference is he has compiled it into a nice program that can work. His goal is to get you in the gym to burn fat and build muscle, but also in the quickest time possible. Craig also includes other bonuses in his program. The best are his Dr. Chris Mohr nutrition guide and 3 months access to his forum. If I had one complaint it would be that he give you at least 6 months. 3 months isn't enough time, it's a nice forum.


The program is $39.95, depending on your goals it may be worth it. If you are fat and don't want to be a bodybuilder or gain much muscle, then this program can work for you. This program is for someone with a slow metabolism, who doesn't care about muscle building or that much about strength training. The program is geared around losing fat. If you don't have a problem with losing fat, then you'll find the cardio sessions just a nuisance that get in the way of your muscle building efforts. Although he says you can gain muscle and lose fat with the program, you can only do a little initially. You can't build substantial muscle and fat at the same time. To do that you have to pick one goal, which requires different diets. If you want to get really cut you'll have to lose some muscle. If you want to build up some muscle, you'll have to bulk and gain weight, something this program doesn't cover. Overall $39.95 is a good price for the book and bonuses. The program comes with a money 8 week back guarantee, backed by Clickbank.

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Optimum Anabolics Muscle building program is written by Jeff Anderson “The Muscle Nerd”, a well known author of other bodybuilding books. He claims to always been genetically a hardgainer, who struggled to pack on muscle mass. Jeff Anderson believes not only strongly in the role of genetics in muscle building, but that you must force your bodies resistance against gaining muscle. Unlike other authors, Jeff doesn’t claim muscle building comes easy, but instead you have to work smart to fool your bodies elaborate system to gain muscle.

This is how Jeff Anderson (Muscle Nerd) looks now:

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Program Overview

The premise of Jeff Anderson program is forcing the body how to resist its normal tendency to not gain muscle. The main book The Optimum Anabolics Guide is 120 pages long. Jeff uses what he coins “8 Anabolic factors”, that someone must use simultaneously for maximum muscle building. Some of the factors include; how to cycle your diet and workouts, excercise selection and excercise frequency.

The most important Anabolic factor is what Jeff calls Hyper-Adaptive Cycling. Jeff believes that the reason people plateau is really because the body overadapts as a defense mechanism. He uses the theory of people re-bounding from weight loss to gain even more fat back than before, after they get off the diet. He then applies this principle for muscle building instead of fat loss. He will show you exactly how to trick the body into wanting to gain muscle after you have plateaued "Overadapted".

The workout routines are 5 days a week for about an hour each. He goes into very good detail and its not like other bodybuilding programs, that just simply change your workout routine to get through a plateau. You will have to read the book to fully understand how it works. Jeff also includes a thick 110 page workout routine workbook, with 24 weeks of routines you can follow. This is one of the largest workout books I have ever seen given in a program. There are some other valuable bonuses too, including one month to his online university where you can watch videos and online consultations.


I highly recommend this program, at it's current price of $39.95. Jeff Anderson has a unique sound system, that could help you finally get past plateaus and avoid them for good. What I like about Jeff Anderson, is that he isn't simply regurgitating the same old stuff from other bodybuilding authors. You can tell he researched things and developed his own system. It's not a bunch of pseduo science either, it makes perfect sense and he backs it up with supporting science. Jeff Anderson personally guarantees you will be satisfied, that he gives a full money back 12 week guarantee, supported by Jeff Anderson's program is one of the cheaper muscle building programs, but the unique system and content in his book alone is worth the price, not counting all the workout book and the extra program bonuses he gives you.

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Combat The Fat Review

Combat the Fat is a fat loss program developed by Jeff Anderson (A.K.A The “Muscle Nerd”) at . The premise of his program is that he is an Ex-Soldier and "Master Fitness Trainer", who had access to classified research studies on fat loss. These studies helped the military help people of all ages and fitness levels get into shape the fastest way possible. Jeff Anderson says he isn't allowed to give all that information out, but he is allowed to develop his own program on those principles he learned in the military. Jeff has a photo that looks like him in the military, so it sounds plausible.

Jeff Anderson claims to be a natural genetic skinny hardgainer when he was young. At the age of 40, he started to gain weight and with a busy schedule, he never did anything about it. At the age of 40, he went from flabby to a pretty good physique in 12 weeks.

Jeff Anderson before & After pictures

These are his before and after pictures he took, after supposedly 12 weeks of his program.

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Combat The Fat Program Overview

Combat the fat e-book

The Combat the Fat book is over 160 pages. It's longer than most books and it is an extremely easy read. Jeff Anderson has a unique style that makes it easy for someone to comprehend. The program covers 8 CFT factors to help you learn how to lose fat. Jeff Anderson includes many facts and information, I have not heard anywhere else, but he he backs it up with supporting science.

His workout routine is unfortunately all centered around body weight excercises. Those OK for a beginner, but once you lose your fat you are going to want to build up a solid muscle base to look better. This can only be done with gradual increases in heavy weight to prevent muscle building plateaus. You can't increase weights with bodyweight excercises, so they only build a small amount of muscle.

Jeff's diet is different from other programs I've come across because he doesn't believe in counting calories or following a strict diet regimen. He even believes eating more calories can help you you burn more fat! He does have some merit to that, it's called calorie cycling in some other bodybuilding programs. Eating a lot of calories once in a while, helps your body from thinking it's "starving" and holding onto fat. Unfortunately, it only works if you do it once in a while and not all the time or you won't lose fat.


Combat The Fat is a unique program for a good price of $39 currently. If you want something that is simple to understand, good price for a lot of stuff, let's you workout at home without weights, doesn't require calorie counting, and you don't want to be a bodybuilder, then this program could be for you. The lack of heavy lifting excercises and a sound calorie counting plan, makes this program not ideal for people who want to become more serious in their muscle building or fat loss efforts, so I don't recommend this program to bodybuilders. This is more for the average joe (or jane) who just wants to drop fat in a quick effective way. If you want to build muscle then I recommend Jeff Anderson's other program Combat the Fat has a 8 week guarantee backed by, so there is no risk to buying it.

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Thyroid Booster Supplements to Increase Fat Loss

The thyroid is one of the most important regulators of your metabolism. It has a role in not only how many calories and fat you burn, but over regulating the rate of protein synthesis. When your thyroid slows down during dieting, it is one cause behind the fat loss plateau. Below is a list of some common thyroid booster supplements found that can help boost your thyroid levels. These would be especially ideal to take to get through a fat loss plateau.

Thyroid boosting supplements

Ephedra / Ephedrine Ephedrine or it's natural herbal supplement form Ephedra, are stimulants and increase your metabolism by stimulating the thyroid. It also plays a important additional role in fat burning, through it's action on beta receptors on fat cells. It does this by increasing adrenaline and nor-adrenaline (called beta agonists because they bind to beta receptors on the fat cells.). Ephedrine also can act like a beta agonist itself. This action on the beta agonists cells leads to increased cAMP production, which increases enzymes that directly cause fat breakdown.

Gugglesterones: This natural extract found from an Indian Tree, shows in studies that it may help increase the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver and kidneys. T3 is much more potent and is the main form of circulating thyroid.

Forskolin: Derived from the plant Coleus forskohlii, it has been used medicinally for centuries. This supplement isn't talked too much in the bodybuilding community, but it is severely underrated. Studies have shown it plays a direct role in stimulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP as said earlier, is produced after ephedrine stimulates the beta receptors. Stimulating cAMP increases thyroid levels, insuline levels, and fat breakdown in the cell.

Synephrine Similiar to structure as Ephedra, but a weaker stimulant, it can also boost your thyroid and fat breakdown through stimulating the beta receptors.

Caffeine Caffeine is a stimulant and also slows the breakdown of cAMP. By keeping cAMP at high levels, it leads to more direct fat loss and increased thyroid function. It is also breaks down in the liver into a compound that increases the increases the amount of circulating fatty acids in the blood, allowing more fat to be burned for energy. Caffeine by itself according to studies, doesn't seem to be too potent a fat burner for those who ingest it regularly already. It is commonly stacked with Ephedra or Synhephrine, to make the stack more potent because of caffeine's role on cAMP levels.

That was just a list of the most common. There are many other types. Check here for the full list of thyroid boosters on the market today.

How Clenbuterol Burns Fat

Clenbuterol (nicknamed Clen) is sold commercially as brand name Spiropent. Clenbuterol is a beta-2 agonist/antagonist and a bronchodilator. Like ephedrine, they both stimulate beta-2 receptors to cause direct fat loss. Unlike Ephedrine, clen does not stimulate the alpha-2 receptors and the have slighlty different mechanisms of how they act on those receptors and other parts of the body to induce fat loss.

Bodybuilders usually need a "source" to find Clenbuterol as it is not sold in stores or U.S pharmacies. Even though Ephedrine has many similiarities and is quite a good fat burner on itself, there is a couple reasons why Clenbuterol is considered better. The most important reason for bodybuilders using Clenbuterol is you can get more fat burning potential with Clenbuterol with less stimulant side effects. Clenbuterol seems to be more potent, while causing less jitteriness and stimulation of the heart for the same effects compared to ephedrine. The downside to this is the beta-2 receptors in the body also builds a tolerance much quicker with Clenbuterol than with Ephedrine.

Clenbuterol also has a very good nutrient partiotioning effect. In other words while you lose fat, you will maintain more muscle and lose more fat, than if you didn't use Clenbuterol. All the animal studies I have come across have shown Clenbuterol lowering fat and increasing muscle mass just by giving Clenbuterol to feed cattle, horses, and other animals. A study published in Vet Res Commun. 1993;17(6):459-68 showed that cattle gained 4% muscle mass and lost 40% fat, however 70 days after withdrawal of clenbuterol they had gained the fat back.

Clenbuterol has this potent fat burning and anabolic ability, due to how it causes the body to better utilize fat for energy instead of muscle. Ephedrine probably has similiar benefits, but there is not many studies on it. There is not any human studies on Clenbuterol use in humans, but ancedotal evidence from users supports the idea it has the same benfit in humans.

Effects of Alcohol on Muscle Gains

You see this question constantly by bodybuilders asking if alcohol will effect my muscle gains. Yes, I believe it will have a big effect on your gains.

Negative effects of alcohol on muscle building

The biggest reason why alcohol is one of the worst things you can do for muscle building is because it directly slows down protein synthesis. If protein isn’t being snythesized you can’t build muscle. To make matters worse, protein is always being broken down, its the balance between anabolism(protein sythesis) and catabolism (protein breakdown). New proteins have to be created (synthesized) to replace those destroyed in what is called protein turnover. When there is more protein synthesis than catabolism, you gain muscle. So by slowing down alcohol stopping protein synthesis, it is actually causing muscle loss because proteins are being broken down, but less are replacing them.

According to studies I've seen, the protein synthesis drops about 20%. Protein synthesis doesn't return to normal until the body eliminates alcohol from the blood. Alcohol also is shown in studies to lower testosterone levels. This will also have a significant impact on your ability to gain muscle.

Negative effects of alcohol on fat loss and bulking

Not only is alcohol bad for muscle building, but its bad for losing fat and bulking. Normally your body burns a steady amount of fat in the kreb's cycle. However, when alcohol is present, your body will prefer to use alcohol instead of fat, which is 7 calories per gram! Alcohol is almost as calorie dense as if you were drinking pure fat. Even during bulking alcohol will lead to excess fat gain. You will gain a lot of excess fat because your body can't burn any fat. You're already at a surplus for calories during bulking making you susceptible to some fat gain. Throw alcohol and it's effect on testosterone and fat burning and you'll look fat and bloated instead of muscular at the end of your bulk.

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