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TOPIC: Biggest Loser + Muscle Gain ?

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March 13, 2013 8:15 PM
According to Dr H in this season's Biggest Loser, episode 11, Danni has gained 19 Ibs of muscle in 3 months.
Yet I am always seeing people here saying you cannot change fat to muscle(obviously) or gain muscle in a calorie deficit, let alone 19 Ibs in 3 months on a pretty extreme calorie deficit.

So, they got the maths wrong and their methods of measurement are flawed ?
Just curious of opinions on this.
  27974990
March 13, 2013 8:42 PM
Bump.
  27974990
March 13, 2013 8:54 PM
It might be possible, if you are predisposed with the correct type of Genes or have raised your T-levels and take most of your cals. via protien. But it would be a stretch for the average person.
  1777804
March 13, 2013 9:16 PM
I've read a couple studies that show that obese people can gain muscle while on a deficit doing strength training (at a rate of .25 to .50 lbs per month).

3 months on the Biggest Loser could easily be 6 months. Additionally, and I haven't watched the show since like season 1, don't they use a bioelectrical impedance scale to measure body fat? That could pretty easily have been wrong to begin with or have changed for other reasons.

I don't know.
  35761138
March 13, 2013 9:29 PM
I saw that and honestly I was astonished.

I mean she was an athlete before, so that may have given her an advantage, but 19 pounds of muscle in 6 months (or 3 months according to the biggest loser) is incredible, especially for a woman.

I mean she looks good, but 19 pounds of muscle? In a woman? In that short amount of time? While eating at a deficit?? She must have some seriously great genes.

Or it's just reality TV and as usual they're exaggerating for effect.

But she does look amazing. I'm rooting for her.
  38941210
March 13, 2013 9:31 PM
QUOTE:

I've read a couple studies that show that obese people can gain muscle while on a deficit doing strength training (at a rate of .25 to .50 lbs per month).

3 months on the Biggest Loser could easily be 6 months. Additionally, and I haven't watched the show since like season 1, don't they use a bioelectrical impedance scale to measure body fat? That could pretty easily have been wrong to begin with or have changed for other reasons.

I don't know.


Yes, I agree with obese people gaining muscle on a deficit--I've seen similar studies--though even Dr. H. was shocked at these results. Did you mean .5lbs per month? I feel like I've seen that 2lbs per month is possible.

They do use DEXA scans. I don't think the scans were wrong or the reporting flawed; I know a lot of people want to give the tv show a lot of crap for setting unrealistic expectations, but I think they have to be able to differentiate between the good and the bad of the show--it has given a lot of hope to obese individuals looking to lose weight without surgery and without gimmicks (yes, yes, a a handful of contestants have horror stories...). I was just reading another article where Dr. H.s patients (not the BL contestants) were keeping the weight off (75% of them) for over three years now--that's pretty impressive compared to other treatments for the morbidly obese.

I've got my own comparative scan in 4lbs...can't wait to see the changes!
  997885
March 13, 2013 9:32 PM
contestants spend a large part of their days working out. i would gain pounds of muscle on a deficit too if i worked out all day, every day.
just something to factor in.
  30881514
March 13, 2013 9:38 PM
She looks great, but that much in so little time... i don't buy it... i'll need the data.
March 13, 2013 9:38 PM
They use a dexa scan to fat %, lean % and bone density. It can EASILY be misconstrued that gain of all "lean" tissue was muscle, when increase in bone density due to higher stress, muscle holding water within the cells (we don't know if this scan was taken while Danni was dehydrating for a weigh in) and some muscle actually being built because obese people/former athletes DO have this probability.
But I would call BS on 19lbs of muscle. The best bodybuilders in the world (juiced to the gills might I add) may gain 10lbs in a year.

A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
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Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  9285851
March 13, 2013 9:43 PM
For all of my training, the one I have consistently heard, that you can gain no more than to to 3 pounds per month of muscle. So unless she was unlocking some hidden muscle she already had, and increased to a high protein, low fat and carb diet, with protein levels over 200 grams per day, not sure how it is possible. I am on a regiment of 280 grams per day, and in 6 months of training have only packed on about 4.5 muscle, maybe a bit more. I have lost a lot of weight, but still, I have been going strong. Who knows though, I need to see more data.
  20411168
March 13, 2013 9:44 PM
QUOTE:

They use a dexa scan to fat %, lean % and bone density. It can EASILY be misconstrued that gain of all "lean" tissue was muscle, when increase in bone density due to higher stress, muscle holding water within the cells (we don't know if this scan was taken while Danni was dehydrating for a weigh in) and some muscle actually being built because obese people/former athletes DO have this probability.
But I would call BS on 19lbs of muscle. The best bodybuilders in the world (juiced to the gills might I add) may gain 10lbs in a year.

A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition



Yes, I thought it would be pretty much impossible, from what I have read here.
I believe that some muscle gain is possible for them, even on a deficit, but 19 pounds seems very extreme and improbable.
  27974990
March 13, 2013 9:53 PM
QUOTE:

For all of my training, the one I have consistently heard, that you can gain no more than to to 3 pounds per month of muscle. So unless she was unlocking some hidden muscle she already had, and increased to a high protein, low fat and carb diet, with protein levels over 200 grams per day, not sure how it is possible. I am on a regiment of 280 grams per day, and in 6 months of training have only packed on about 4.5 muscle, maybe a bit more. I have lost a lot of weight, but still, I have been going strong. Who knows though, I need to see more data.
Actually this sounds about right.

A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  9285851
March 13, 2013 9:53 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

They use a dexa scan to fat %, lean % and bone density. It can EASILY be misconstrued that gain of all "lean" tissue was muscle, when increase in bone density due to higher stress, muscle holding water within the cells (we don't know if this scan was taken while Danni was dehydrating for a weigh in) and some muscle actually being built because obese people/former athletes DO have this probability.
But I would call BS on 19lbs of muscle. The best bodybuilders in the world (juiced to the gills might I add) may gain 10lbs in a year.

A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition



Yes, I thought it would be pretty much impossible, from what I have read here.
I believe that some muscle gain is possible for them, even on a deficit, but 19 pounds seems very extreme and improbable.


But that makes sense for a bodybuilder--they are so much muscle already and are maxing out the amount of muscle they can still put on. I believe new lifters, and morbidly obese lifters at that, can certainly beat their numbers...newbie magic and whatnot.

I wish Sarauk2sf were here...

Edit for comma.
Edit to also add: I think it is, again, worth considering the difference between the crappy parts of the TV show and the interactions with Dr. H. He is an actual doctor, researcher, and professor at UCLA. I don't see much reason to believe he is a hack...as far as TV doctors go...I think he smokes Dr. Oz (gag).
Edited by nataliescalories On March 13, 2013 9:58 PM
  997885
March 13, 2013 10:03 PM
The show is an extreme makerover type show. I believe it because she does not look like she has any fat left and she is losing fat still as small as she is now.

Also if people can lose 15 to 20+ pounds in one week on the show and someone as small as Danni can lose 7 to 11 pounds in a week I believe she can gain 19 pounds of muscle in 3 monthswink

I am so hoping she clinches it. I was hoping Gina won it since she has been the biggest loser the most weeks but now. I want Danni or Jackson to win it. I have really enjoyed this season because there was not too much meanness this time out.
  887823
March 13, 2013 10:11 PM
Bump. I've gotta stop taking this show at face value. I actually used to believe that was a real scale they use at televised weigh-ins.
  3503148
March 13, 2013 10:48 PM
I dunno if she gained 19 pounds of muscle, but the picture of her stomach before and after was amazing. She has clearly gained a lot of muscle though, but 19 pounds? I dunno.
March 14, 2013 1:34 AM
Yea idk if I believe 19lbs of muscle, but it wouldn't surprise me if she has gained alot of muscle. She has had lower losses than alot of the others, and IMO is in alot better shape. She has been my fav all season.
  33507852
March 14, 2013 1:38 AM
Dr H did say that he checked the results 3 different ways, so I am inclined to believe it.
  9872922
March 14, 2013 1:47 AM
I don't know if I believe that specific information, but from experience I can say that it is possible to gain muscle while at a caloric deficit. I am currently at a caloric deficit, but have been building good muscle little by little, while at the same time losing fat :)
  33584717
March 14, 2013 6:02 AM
19lbs of muscle? His calculations are off.

A woman can't gain that much in a year even if all conditions are right. They eat at an extreme deficit which would more so point to them losing muscle.

Unless she is taking some sort of drug to help build muscle I would imagine he is wrong. The show is a joke. He seriously thinks a woman can build muscle doing what they do? Extremely low calorie intake doesn't allow you to build muscle. The show, Dr. Hk, Bob, Jillian and everyone else is a joke.

Seeing muscle when you are losing weight doesn't mean you are building muscle. Gaining strength doesn't mean building muscle.
Edited by now_or_never13 On March 14, 2013 6:03 AM
March 14, 2013 6:05 AM
The Biggest Loser would never lie to us.....never!
March 14, 2013 6:08 AM
QUOTE:

Dr H did say that he checked the results 3 different ways, so I am inclined to believe it.

Ahhhh, but did he check the starting results 3 different ways? She may be at 20 ish percent now based on the 3 different methods, but if there was only one test in the beginning, that one could have been off. Especially since the higher the fat percentage, the more inaccurate the result.
  650371
March 14, 2013 6:14 AM
She is my favorite, and I would not be surprised if the 19 pound muscle gain was correct. She kicks some serious butt in the gym!

And she is build very muscular & athletic to begin with!
Go D!
March 14, 2013 6:15 AM
I wish Dr. H would publish a case study on Danni's 19 lb of muscle gain. Then we could learn what was done to find that number -- i.e., the three ways it was measured -- as well as what specifically she was eating and how much time she was truly spending at different activities.

But I also agree that she has some sort of amazing genetic advantage -- sort of like Lance Armstrong's off the charts baseline VO2. It's too bad she spent so much time under that huge blanket of weight -- she coulda been a contender. :)
March 14, 2013 6:17 AM
I would agree, 19lbs of muscle in 3 months is pretty unbelievable since it does take quite a bit of weight training, not just cardio exercise to gain muscle in that quantity. I workout 4 times a week, strictly weight training and I would say rigorously, making great strides in increasing my weight with each lift, but I haven't put on 19lbs of lean muscle in a years time. I would say maybe 10lbs.

I can see how you can put on muscle in a deficit in their cases. You have to remember, the calorie deficit they are working with is still well over the calorie intake it would be to maintain their lean muscle they do have. Example with the weights they are dealing with. The TDEE to maintain the weights they are dealing with are probably in the 3000-4000 calories, if they wanted to maintain it, but since they are more over weight then what they are wanting to be at, taking off 500-1000 calories, would still be 500 or more calories over what they would need to be at once they get to the final weight they will get to. Hence giving themselves calories to put on lean muscle but still at a deficit to lose weight, or fat. Remember, weight isn't one or the other, fat/muscle, but a combination depending on how you are fueling the body, and what type of workout you are putting your body through.
  36112626

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