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  1. #1
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Puffy muscle vs. hard, dense muscle

    the way I've been exercising the past couple of years have led to great gains in strength and a good 70 pounds of fat lost, but my musculature isn't dense like I see in so many other dudes. It's kinda puffy and it really bothers me. Are their certain rep ranges that you can use to change up how new muscle tissue is built?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Browning4's Avatar
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    You probably still have a little fat covering them.
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    Originally Posted by Browning4 View Post
    You probably still have a little fat covering them.
    this, fat covering up muscles makes them look and feel softer. Also, water retention in your muscles have an effect as well ("bloated creatine" look).

    the stronger your muscles get the more dense the fibres will become. Low reps, heavy weight will improve strength best. Keep working at it OP
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  4. #4
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Browning4 View Post
    You probably still have a little fat covering them.
    I'm somewhere around 10-12% bf, and I really don't think that's the problem. I also still have a slight bit of loose skin from my drastic weight loss a few years back.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by knight07 View Post
    this, fat covering up muscles makes them look and feel softer. Also, water retention in your muscles have an effect as well ("bloated creatine" look).

    the stronger your muscles get the more dense the fibres will become. Lifting heavy and improving strength as you have been doing will help. Keep working at it OP
    I stay hydrated, and I don't use supplements that could contribute to that case. I've heard 5 x 5 is a pretty good routine to use as far as building up quality muscle tissue
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    When i first started training my muscles where puffy and soft, compared to my friends. Over time mine have gotten allot harder. I don't know if its due to lower bf% even though im roughly the same bf now as to when i started, or newly built muscle is "softer" and hardens over time. No idea.
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  7. #7
    VP of Quality Crew knight07's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kersed View Post
    I stay hydrated, and I don't use supplements that could contribute to that case. I've heard 5 x 5 is a pretty good routine to use as far as building up quality muscle tissue
    hydration is good, and unless you have a reason not to be on creatine, I would recommend going on it, itll only help. 5x5 is great, Im on it myself. 5x5 will build strong, dense muscle as long as you are running the routine correctly and pushing yourself, which is why its recommended to most beginners before they go into other routines.

    You will keep getting stronger but until your body fat goes down even further, your muscle wont instantly feel or look more dense, simply because the same fat is still covering it. I would advise that you continue building strength and muscle mass, the more muscle you build the better itll fill out your body/skin/frame and the fat will look less significant. Beginners are able to burn fat and build muscle at the same time but this is limited and eventually slows, and it becomes one or the other, but you havent reached that point yet so just keep lifting heavy
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by knight07 View Post
    hydration is good, and unless you have a reason not to be on creatine, I would recommend going on it, itll only help. 5x5 is great, Im on it myself. 5x5 will build strong, dense muscle as long as you are running the routine correctly and pushing yourself, which is why its recommended to most beginners before they go into other routines.

    You will keep getting stronger but until your body fat goes down even further, your muscle wont instantly feel or look more dense, simply because the same fat is still covering it. I would advise that you continue building strength and muscle mass, the more muscle you build the better itll fill out your body/skin/frame and the fat will look less significant. Beginners are able to burn fat and build muscle at the same time but this is limited and eventually slows, and it becomes one or the other, but you havent reached that point yet so just keep lifting heavy
    Daam good info, I have the same problem with my muscles. Thanks for the knowledge.
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  9. #9
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    keep me posted. looking forward to seeing how thick, solid and tight you can get
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  10. #10
    VP of Quality Crew knight07's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ARUSMC1000 View Post
    Daam good info, I have the same problem with my muscles. Thanks for the knowledge.
    no problem man, GL with training
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  11. #11
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by knight07 View Post
    hydration is good, and unless you have a reason not to be on creatine, I would recommend going on it, itll only help. 5x5 is great, Im on it myself. 5x5 will build strong, dense muscle as long as you are running the routine correctly and pushing yourself, which is why its recommended to most beginners before they go into other routines.

    You will keep getting stronger but until your body fat goes down even further, your muscle wont instantly feel or look more dense, simply because the same fat is still covering it. I would advise that you continue building strength and muscle mass, the more muscle you build the better itll fill out your body/skin/frame and the fat will look less significant. Beginners are able to burn fat and build muscle at the same time but this is limited and eventually slows, and it becomes one or the other, but you havent reached that point yet so just keep lifting heavy
    I've been lifting for a good 4 years now, and while I'm not lifting currently at the moment due to lack of equipment or a gym, I don't really think I qualify as a beginner. I first got into strength training back when I was 15, went from 230#s to 150, then put on a solid 20#s of muscle in sophomore/junior year of high school. Since then I've pretty much remained at the same 170-175# mark, whereas I was still getting stronger. I've done a couple strength routines to great effect without the use of any supplements other than food, and I don't plan on using them since I want my results to come from my hard work, not the extra creatine that my body already gets from self-production and the meats I eat.

    I do plan on starting the 5 x 5 routine as soon as I can buy a cheap set of weights. I also plan to supplement the program with cardio, although it advises most people to not do cardio, since being strong for my body size means nothing if I can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. Hopefully the bar will be strong enough once I start squatting and pulling over 400#s again.
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  12. #12
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    if i'm correct heavier weight increases density. stick with 8-10 reps
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  13. #13
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    The puffy look comes from either creatine or body fat.

    You can try some body weight exercises and i think that will help. Dont just stick with weights alone.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by armensti View Post
    The puffy look comes from either creatine or body fat.

    You can try some body weight exercises and i think that will help. Dont just stick with weights alone.
    Hence why I don't use creatine and eat relatively lean. I used to do wrestling in high school, which mixed in body exercises with weighted compound lifts, and I still didn't appear to have dense musculature, even being around 8% bf the entire two years I did it.
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  15. #15
    VP of Quality Crew knight07's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kersed View Post
    I've been lifting for a good 4 years now, and while I'm not lifting currently at the moment due to lack of equipment or a gym, I don't really think I qualify as a beginner. I first got into strength training back when I was 15, went from 230#s to 150, then put on a solid 20#s of muscle in sophomore/junior year of high school. Since then I've pretty much remained at the same 170-175# mark, whereas I was still getting stronger. I've done a couple strength routines to great effect without the use of any supplements other than food, and I don't plan on using them since I want my results to come from my hard work, not the extra creatine that my body already gets from self-production and the meats I eat.

    I do plan on starting the 5 x 5 routine as soon as I can buy a cheap set of weights. I also plan to supplement the program with cardio, although it advises most people to not do cardio, since being strong for my body size means nothing if I can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. Hopefully the bar will be strong enough once I start squatting and pulling over 400#s again.
    gotcha, i read where you wrote about the big weight loss a few years ago and assumed it was just dieting a bunch of fat off, not lifting. I still think that once you get on 5x5 youll experience fat loss AND muscle gain just because of the fact that you are not currently lifting and the strength program will be a change up from what your body is currently used to, which is what happens with actual "beginners" who arent currently lifting or havent ever lifted, so I think the principle might still apply for you now even though youre not new to lifting lol. Regardless of whether youre able to burn some fat upon returning to lifting or not, youll still eventually have to cut down again with a caloric defecit to burn off excess body fat and have your dense muscle be more exposed. The loose skin you still have supposedly shrinks back over time but im sure some of it could still be stubborn and I have no knowledge of that type of stuff so Im not sure what to tell you about that
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  16. #16
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by knight07 View Post
    gotcha, i read where you wrote about the big weight loss a few years ago and assumed it was just dieting a bunch of fat off, not lifting. I still think that once you get on 5x5 youll experience fat loss AND muscle gain just because of the fact that you are not currently lifting and the strength program will be a change up from what your body is currently used to, which is what happens with actual "beginners" who arent currently lifting or havent ever lifted, so I think the principle might still apply for you now even though youre not new to lifting lol. Regardless of whether youre able to burn some fat upon returning to lifting or not, youll still eventually have to cut down again with a caloric defecit to burn off excess body fat and have your dense muscle be more exposed. The loose skin you still have supposedly shrinks back over time but im sure some of it could still be stubborn and I have no knowledge of that type of stuff so Im not sure what to tell you about that
    Yeah, the bit about my body composition changing again is true. It's been a good couple of months since I stopped lifting seriously so I'll welcome the sore days with open arms. As far as fat burning goes, I usually lost fat while lifting mainly because I ate enough to keep my strength gains but not enough to actually put on muscle. Before I start doing that, I have to get my diet in order again, which means weekly trips to the farmer's market to get more good food. I still live at home with my family, so there's hella lots of junk food in my pantry. I love eating healthy, but I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to sweets.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Kersed View Post
    Yeah, the bit about my body composition changing again is true. It's been a good couple of months since I stopped lifting seriously so I'll welcome the sore days with open arms. As far as fat burning goes, I usually lost fat while lifting mainly because I ate enough to keep my strength gains but not enough to actually put on muscle. Before I start doing that, I have to get my diet in order again, which means weekly trips to the farmer's market to get more good food. I still live at home with my family, so there's hella lots of junk food in my pantry. I love eating healthy, but I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to sweets.
    I feel you, my family's pantry was filled with nothing but sweets as well, so all I did was snack on sugary stuff and for a while I didnt know what I was doing and I wasnt even eating enough to grow muscle (i used to be ~130lbs) but I got my diet in check and have been bulking up since. Ive never burned fat off cause ive never really had any until now, Im like 13% atm. If youre burning fat and still getting stronger, It looks like youre in the clear man just hit 5x5 hard, good luck
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  18. #18
    Registered User Kersed's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by knight07 View Post
    I feel you, my family's pantry was filled with nothing but sweets as well, so all I did was snack on sugary stuff and for a while I didnt know what I was doing and I wasnt even eating enough to grow muscle (i used to be ~130lbs) but I got my diet in check and have been bulking up since. Ive never burned fat off cause ive never really had any until now, Im like 13% atm. If youre burning fat and still getting stronger, It looks like youre in the clear man just hit 5x5 hard, good luck
    thanks man, i'll be sure to post videos of said progress.

    waiting two weeks to buy my weights will be a pain in the ass though.
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  19. #19
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    Not really sure on this one but I'm thinking it might have something to do with myofibril vs sarcoplasmic (hypertrophy). Myofibril being increase size of the actual fibre tissue and sarcoplasmic is increase of the volume where water and carbs are stored. You can't isolate one type of growth doe

    Again not sure how accurate I am on that, someone may be able to clear up
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    Originally Posted by SilverBackk View Post
    Not really sure on this one but I'm thinking it might have something to do with myofibril vs sarcoplasmic (hypertrophy). Myofibril being increase size of the actual fibre tissue and sarcoplasmic is increase of the volume where water and carbs are stored. You can't isolate one type of growth doe

    Again not sure how accurate I am on that, someone may be able to clear up
    its confusing to me too, a lot of this stuff is just theories and explanations that are backed with very little support or evidence, and to me seems like a bunch of crap. what I know:

    myofibrillar = more muscle fibres, more strength, density, powerlifters and o lifters
    sarcoplasmic = increased sarcoplasmic fluid in muscles, bigger muscles, not necessarily stronger though, bodybuilders.

    And like you said, apparently you cant isolate one or the other, It just kind of happens based on what kind of training youre doing. Degrees of volume and muscle fatigue produce different muscular adaptations and growth. Basically, training heavy like a powerlifter makes you strong, and training with lighter weight in higher rep ranges like a bodybuilder does produces different results, or at least thats what all this seems to suggest
    Last edited by knight07; 02-13-2012 at 01:37 AM.
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    Originally Posted by SilverBackk View Post
    Not really sure on this one but I'm thinking it might have something to do with myofibril vs sarcoplasmic (hypertrophy). Myofibril being increase size of the actual fibre tissue and sarcoplasmic is increase of the volume where water and carbs are stored. You can't isolate one type of growth doe

    Again not sure how accurate I am on that, someone may be able to clear up
    Sarcoplasmic muscle isn't "puffy". I can't think of any way any muscle itself can be "puffy".

    The density of muscle is related to low bf% + genetics I suppose + muscle maturity. Also the thinness of your skin. If you have thick walrus skin your ****'s gonna look weird, I'd say that's probably the case.
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    Originally Posted by WinterWoIf View Post
    Sarcoplasmic muscle isn't "puffy". I can't think of any way any muscle itself can be "puffy".

    The density of muscle is related to low bf% + genetics I suppose + muscle maturity. Also the thinness of your skin. If you have thick walrus skin your ****'s gonna look weird, I'd say that's probably the case.
    Walrus skin has not been acquired. as far as genetics go, my family's aren't the greatest. all the dudes in my family have been really thin and lanky. I'm the second biggest guy in my family
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    ǝlʇıʇ ɹǝsn ɯoʇsnɔ erick15's Avatar
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    @ op. In one of your post u say your buying a weight set. If your going to be dropping your bar at all doing olympic lifts or dead lifts, buy a nice bar not a bar from a sporting goods store. If you won't be dropping it, a cheap bar will hold a ton of weight. I have a used-cheap-as-it-gets bar and have done rack pulls with close to 600lbs on it and it is fine. But I have broke a cheap bar dropping it with only 255lbs on it.

    Btw, I didn't quote the post cause I'm on my phone and it's a bitch to do.
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    Originally Posted by erick15 View Post
    @ op. In one of your post u say your buying a weight set. If your going to be dropping your bar at all doing olympic lifts or dead lifts, buy a nice bar not a bar from a sporting goods store. If you won't be dropping it, a cheap bar will hold a ton of weight. I have a used-cheap-as-it-gets bar and have done rack pulls with close to 600lbs on it and it is fine. But I have broke a cheap bar dropping it with only 255lbs on it.

    Btw, I didn't quote the post cause I'm on my phone and it's a bitch to do.
    I try not to drop said bar doing dead lifts or cleans, but it may happen every now and then. I just haven't worked out seriously in over 3 months and I have to do SOMETHING. I could get a decent bar and plate set for 500-700, but I'd seriously have to save money for another 4 damn months, and I'm realllllly don't want to wait that long. Not to mention I'm getting my stomach inked up pretty soon.
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    ǝlʇıʇ ɹǝsn ɯoʇsnɔ erick15's Avatar
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    Just be aware that every time you drop your cheap bar with metal plates you are risking breaking it. But you can also do it how I do and just buy a cheap bar, use it till it breaks and then buy another cheap bar.
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by erick15 View Post
    Just be aware that every time you drop your cheap bar with metal plates you are risking breaking it. But you can also do it how I do and just buy a cheap bar, use it till it breaks and then buy another cheap bar.
    This. I'd love to go get a bar/bumper package from rogue fitness but I just don't have that kind of money. As long as the bar can hold a good amount of weight I'm fine with it. I'll obviously upgrade to a better bar when my finances improve.
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    Originally Posted by Kersed View Post
    the way I've been exercising the past couple of years have led to great gains in strength and a good 70 pounds of fat lost, but my musculature isn't dense like I see in so many other dudes. It's kinda puffy and it really bothers me. Are their certain rep ranges that you can use to change up how new muscle tissue is built?
    Pump all the time with light weights high reps and short rests:

    Good for sarcoplasmic(fluid) hypertrophy. Shrivels up like a cockroach in a campfire if you are a weekend away from the gym, if that is the ONLY way you train. But it is good after your low rep strength work, because it pumps blood and nutrients into the muscles to help growth.

    It is also great for strength endurance/rep strength, and strength, if the load is meaningful. Thus if you see someone doing SLDs with the empty bar(45lbs), then it hardly matters if they do 20 or 50 reps. But if they did twenty with three plates(315lbs) from the floor(real stiff leg DEADlifts), the load is meaningful, and they are stronger than most. It is harder to add reps to high rep sets like that, so most people who seek strength use lower reps like five.

    Train low rep heavy sets with long rests:

    It is easier to add poundage to the bar when training like that. So good for progression in strength. Sarcomeric(fiber) hypertrophy. Hard/dense muscle. If that is the ONLY way you train, there is a problem. Little or no pump, so less blood and nutrients available to the muscle fibers, limiting growth, and ultimate strength gains. And you are neglecting strength endurance, which is a useful quality in itself.

    That is why lots of guys do high rep work after low rep strength work. Doesn't have to be the same exercises at all, just so long as it pumps blood into the same or assisting muscle groups.

    So after my strength work, most of my assistance work is 5 x 10 x up to 60% max x < 1 minute rest.

    Lift well and prosper.
    Last edited by jgreystoke; 02-13-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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    "puffy muscle vs. hard, dense muscle"

    smh

    "the puffy look can come from creatine"

    smh

    so much fukin misiniformation. i realize i come to this forum more to laugh at the dumbasses on here than to learn anything.

    im sorry to be a dick but some of you guys really need to start looking **** up before you go around making assertions.
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by jgreystoke View Post
    Pump all the time with light weights high reps and short rests:

    Good for sarcoplasmic(fluid) hypertrophy. Shrivels up like a cockroach in a campfire if you are a weekend away from the gym, if that is the ONLY way you train. But it is good after your low rep strength work, because it pumps blood and nutrients into the muscles to help growth.

    It is also great for strength endurance/rep strength, and strength, if the load is meaningful. Thus if you see someone doing SLDs with the empty bar(45lbs), then it hardly matters if they do 20 or 50 reps. But if they did twenty with three plates(315lbs) from the floor(real stiff leg DEADlifts), the load is meaningful, and they are stronger than most. It is harder to add reps to high rep sets like that, so most people who seek strength use lower reps like five.

    Train low rep heavy sets with long rests:

    It is easier to add poundage to the bar when training like that. So good for progression in strength. Sarcomeric(fiber) hypertrophy. Hard/dense muscle. If that is the ONLY way you train, there is a problem. Little or no pump, so less blood and nutrients available to the muscle fibers, limiting growth, and ultimate strength gains. And you are neglecting strength endurance, which is a useful quality in itself.

    That is why lots of guys do high rep work after low rep strength work. Doesn't have to be the same exercises at all, just so long as it pumps blood into the same or assisting muscle groups.

    So after my strength work, most of my assistance work is 5 x 10 x up to 60% max x < 1 minute rest.

    Lift well and prosper.
    Actually just read and article on T Nation stating to do what you said you do. On lifting days, do 5 x 10 of the same exrcise but at 50-60% max of said lift. It's called the "Boring But Big" program.
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    Originally Posted by Kersed View Post
    Actually just read and article on T Nation stating to do what you said you do. On lifting days, do 5 x 10 of the same exrcise but at 50-60% max of said lift. It's called the "Boring But Big" program.
    Yeah, that's the Boring But Big bodybuilding template for Jim Wendler's great 5 3 1 program.

    Going to run it when my energy is up to it(tramslation: when my balls are up to it).
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