Diet and building muscle mass

(chris.coote) #1

There was a quote (not sure on attribution): You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet and you can’t eat to gain muscle.


(G. Andrew Duthie) #2

As with many quotes, it’s an oversimplification, and is no substitute for actually TRYING and seeing what works.

The first part certainly has merit, in that one can exercise like crazy and not be able to outrun poor eating habits, particularly if they are such that they leave you with a metabolic disadvantage.

And the second part has merit in the sense that it is true that building muscle is a product of stressing your muscle fibers in such a way that your body repairs and builds them.

But both parts fail to tell the whole story. If you are eating a metabolically advantageous diet (i.e. - keto), and you exercise more, you will likely see greater benefits. How much greater will probably vary by starting state (i.e. - how overweight, how fit, how insulin resistant, etc.) and by individual response. Likewise, if someone is both doing good form resistance training AND eating advantageously, they will likely see better results than someone who isn’t doing both.

It’s completely normal to want some shorthand ways of communicating good habits, and some quotes are useful for this purpose. Not sure this quote qualifies, given that it doesn’t communicate the full picture. Just my 2 cents.

(David K) #3

This is the era of the meme, your average person doesn’t want the whole story. They want soundbites.

OP: I agree. You cannot out-train a shitty diet and you cannot just eat to gain muscle.


This does not complete the whole story (like propagation of metabolic derangement), but still a compelling image to think about. For me, I have better things to do in my day, and in no rush to destroy my knees.