The reference to keeping ketone levels is interesting. Can you provide me with those articles?
As PhilL noted in his post, “Dr. Phinney has stated that he and Prof. Volek see no particular benefit to β-hydroxybutyrate levels above 1.0, so your actual level is not particularly important.”
Another source that promotes that same Ketone Level Range is…
In this video, DeLauer indicates that around 1.0 to 1.5 Ketones is a good level for individuals who are training.
Another piece of the Ketone Level puzzle come from…
Moore’s findings is that when you initially go on the Keto Diet, your blood Ketones are elevated. Basically, the body is over producing ketones. Thus, the higher readings.
However, after you have been on Keto for a while, the body adapts. It only produces enough ketones that your body needs for energy.
Gaining mass require an increase in caloric intake.
Since carbohydrate intake is restricted to around 50 gram and protein is has a ceiling of around 25% of your macro calorie intake, that means you need to increase your fat intake.
More on how to do that below.
Increasing Protein Intake
As PaulL stated in his post, one of the keys to increasing muscle mass is to increase protein intake.
With that said, an increase in your fat calorie intake means you can increase your protein intake, keeping it in the 25% of calorie intake macro range.
One of the keys to maintaining ketosis is to keep your fat and protein in the right macro percentage range. As we know, carbohydrates have a definitive number; 50 grams range.
My Personal Experience
In July 2016, I was diagnosed with a metabolic condition. Based on the research, the Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting indicated that it might assist with my condition; that appears to be true.
I initially overreacted. I went on the Ketogenic Diet, only having two meals a day; a dramatic drop in calorie intake.
I ended up losing 17 lbs in 35 days; averaging a weight loss of half a pound a day.
I then, like you, wanted to…
Gain Weight/Mass Back
To do that, I increased my calorie intake with fats: Oliver and Avocado Oils, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Liquid and Solid Coconut Oil, and snacking on just Butter, etc.
I’d often just drink small shot of oil to increase my calorie intake.
I got that idea from…
Bill “Peanuts” West
West was a Bodybuilder/Powerlifter who didn’t have much money, back in his day. So, to gain weight, he’d drink a few shot of peanut oil; which was cheap and fit his budget.
I realize this sound nuts. However, it worked. I gained back the 17 lbs.
The 17 lbs that I gained back was mostly muscle and a little body fat.
With that said, I believe I could have obtain better results with increasing muscle mass an minimizing fat gain if I had come across this information before hand…
How to Bulk and Gain Weight (Muscle) on Keto
DeLauer cites research on how increasing protein intake on a Ketogenic Diet, up to around 1.0 gram per pound produced an increase in muscle mass.
To ensure that ketosis was maintained, fat intake was kept at around 75% of macro intake. That is a lot of fat and calories.
The problem is that an over consumption of calories leads to an increase in body fat.
DeLauer provide a reasonable solution via Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting allows you to not over consume calories during the week.
This enables you to keep your protein intake at 1.0 gram per pound of body weight and your fat intake at 75% of your macros during the weeks so that you maximize muscle gain and minimize fat gain.
Leucine or Branch Chain Amino Acids
Another good post by PaulL is…
“My understanding is that for bulking muscle what is important is more protein, in particular branched-chain amino acids. The essential BCAA’s ( i.e., the ones the body cannot make for itself) are leucine, iso-leucine, and valine, so you’d probably want foods rich in them.”
Leucine “The Anabolic Trigger” for Muscle
Leucine triggers mTOR in the body. mTOR trigger muscle growth.
Research shows (Drs Donald Layman and Layne Norton) that the optimal dosage is around 3.0 gram for older individual; approximately 1.5 hour after a meal and before the next meal.
Amino Acids perform different functions.
Some Amino Acids are Glucogenic; converted to glucose for energy.
Other Amino Acids are Ketogenic or Glucogenic: they can be converted either way.
Leucine is only a Ketogenic Amino Acid. It is shielded and primarily used to maintain or increase muscle mass.
The Strength Components For Increasing Muscle Mass
As per PaulL…
“You want to stress your muscles properly to promote growth, so you probably want fewer reps at heavier weight, repeated to failure, instead of more reps at lower weight.”
Research by Dr Brad Schoenfeld determine that following are necessary for increasing muscle mass.
1) Mechanical Tension
As PaulL notes, this means part of your program needs to be in lifting heavy loads for low repetitions.
2) Metabolic Stress
This means performing light to moderate heavy weight for high to moderate repetitions.
This is the primary method used by Bodybuilders; aka The Pump, that elicits an increase in muscle mass.
3) Muscle Damage
At some point, as PaulL noted, you need to push an exercise to failure or near failure. However, going to failure or near it needs to be limited.
Going to failure or near it every workout leads to Overtraining; you get weaker and lose muscle mass.
Also, pushing yourself to that level of intensity every workout, mentally and emotionally burns you out.
Stimulate, Don’t Annihilate
One of the keys to increasing muscle mass and strength is to progressively increase the intensity over a number of weeks (increase repetition, weight, etc);
In the final week of your training cycle is where you need to push an exercise to failure or near to it.
Once you do that, you start off with a new training cycle that is light and easy. Doing so, allows the muscles to grow and increase in strength.
This is knowan as…
Recovery is where an increase in muscle mass and strength occur.
Dropping back down to a light, easy load for an exercise increase blood flow to the muscles. This promote a faster recover.