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Old 08-20-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
0311
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The Law of Addition and Subtraction

Simply put, most people fail because they bounce around from one extreme to another. That could mean substantially dropping a lot of calories, going from a few cardio sessions to five days of HIIT, or just not having any understanding of the basic concepts of how nutrition affects the body. Dante (DC) has a lot of stuff out there that are golden - Bulking - Cutting, LOL!

The Law of Addition and Subtraction = Taking your known diet and training that you've been consistant with, then either slowly adding or subtracting from it to shift the emphasis in favor of your goals. In children's stories, who always wins the race? The tortoise (slow and steady) or the hare (fast out the gate)? Same thing applies with everything you do in the gym. Start with small changes, then constantly re-evaluate. And by re-evaluate, I mean a few things. First, weigh yourself at the exact same time and day. That means once you wake up and use the bathroom. Second, get your bodyfat tested. This one's very important! How many trainees do you think decided to keep slashing away at the cardio and calories simply because the scale didn't move? If they got tested, a good deal of them would be surprised to see they gained a little muscle! Especially if we're talking recomp. Hence the high failure rate you see around the boards.

How do you follow the Law?

First, if you're not 100% consistant, day in and day out, then the Law doesn't apply. How could it when you can't pinpoint what you've been doing? If you're not eating 6-7 meals every 2.5 - 3 hours on the dot, then you're not serious enough to get much out of this article. How many teens think their training is to blame when they commit the number one cardinal sin - Missing meals! There's two choices you have. Either go buy a Redpoint membership and commit yourself to following it 100% for a month, or log onto fitday and record a couple of weeks. I really cannot recommend RP enough to those that are lost in the sauce; or better yet the ones that would rather spend ten minutes selecting meal choices and printing it all out vs. coming up with something on their own. It's understandable.

Okay, training dialed in (ie consistant) and have been following their diet plan for a couple of weeks. Doesn't matter what the goal at that time was (massing, strength, ect) as goals change. Now it's time to apply the Law. An example I'll use is a person (Harry) who was strength training for a long while, but now he doesn't like having 18% bodyfat. It's January and he knows from reading this forum that if he wants to lose fat for the summer, the time is now! Remember, this is just an example to get everyone in the right train of thought or lend some ideas.

1) Use the Law to SHIFT fat loss in Harry's favor. That doesn't mean ditching his powerbuilding routine that gave him all that strength and mass for something else. It means forgetting about his calories for now. Keep it the same. Instead, lets work the meal plan itself. Something as simple as manipulating macros could really pay dividends for Harry. His calories remain the same so he can continue powerbuilding just like he was. For example, if during his off days he always eats a lot of carbs during his first four meals, you can limit it to his first two (Law of Subtraction). The new meal plan now has healthy fats and plenty of fiberous greens (broccoli, spinnach, green beans, ect). If Harry feels inclined to do so, perhaps putting a carb cuttoff a meal earlier on his training day.

2) Harry wants to keep increasing his strength and maintaining his muscle mass. Best way to do it? The Law of Addition - Start adding cardio to create the deficit vs. decreasing calories. The cardio definately keeps the appetite stoked in my experience, so it's definately a bad idea to lower cals at the same time. Now Harry's doing 30 minutes of low intensity steady state on every off day.

* Our hero Harry re-evaluates a few weeks later and sees progress slow *

Law of Addition - Increase his low intensity cardio on every off day by 15 minutes. Now he's doing 45 minutes of cardio on every off day (4 off days a week). He's still strong as an ox kicking ass on his training days.

* Our hero Harry re-evaluates a few weeks later and sees progress slow *

Law of Subtraction - Now's the time to consider lowering his calorie intake. By how much depends on Harry. He could start with a modest deduction, then evaluate if he needs more. It's really that simple.

That was just an example. Of course everyone is different. And you have to apply the Law to your bodytype. Obviously, it also depends on what you're currently doing as well. Additionally, someone who is 10% would probably need more energy systems training to get the remainder off vs. someone else who's 15%.

This article wasn't hard to write. Ironaddict essentially did all the heavy lifting over the years answering post after post with advice such as this. All I did was put a cool sounding name on it!!
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Good post Dan. People normally think they have to "give it EVERYTHING they have" to start the pursuit of their goals. While in reality that is bad advice. Speed is the key factor here, how fast you gain/lose weight will infuence the amount of muscle lost or gained. The slower the better. So if Harry was taking in 5000 (which he worked up to eating), and suddenly drops his calories to 3000 and adds more cardio because he is "cutting", he will lose a MUCH higher percentage of muscle vs. just going slower and making a small tweak here and there....and probably end up looking worse.

You guys have to think long term here too. If you have 20 weeks to reach your goal and you want to lose 20lbs of fat. You go balls to the wall, cut calories a ton, and increase cardio, will the "weight loss" be huge the first couple weeks? Of course. But you will stagnate and be stuck soon. So now you are sitting here, fucking hungry, and knowing the only way to keep progress going is lower calories even further and increase cardio. But wait, your impatient ass decided to START with 1.5 hours of cardio/day and a 1000 calorie deficit. So now what? In order to "fix" this issue you will need to increase your calories for awhile, possibly putting some fat back on because your metabolism is sluggish.

So instead of losing 10lbs in 2 weeks, try losing 3 to 4 in 2 weeks, and then the week after that another 1 or 2, and keep the progress going until you reach your goal. This can only be done with SMALL changes.

Also on the other side of the spectrum, massing is the same way. Except an realistic goal of muscle mass gained each week could be 1 to 3 lbs a month, depending on how experienced the lifter is.

I always think of cutting or massing like watching grass grow....can you ever really "see" it grow....no. But if you wait 5 days and come back to it, you will see the changes.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for answering a question I hadn't asked yet.

You guys really are good!

So to continue with the example of Harry, which by coincedence eats 600 grams of carbs. If he would start to cut it would be best to lower calories by 500 (lowering the carbs) and first see how it goes, then if needed lower it again or add cardio, etc.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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This article is so simple, thats why it is great.

Dan I have said it before and I'll say it again, you have a gift for writing when it comes to lifting, I love to read it.PLEASE keep this stuff coming.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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Good read, 0311, solid article as usual
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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Well, Dante's article pretty much summed up my first 4 years of training.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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Good read. No fluff, as usual DH!
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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I don't remember writing this, but it lools like it's based off of my DC training experience.
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