I’ve doused myself in this world of muscle building and fat loss more than I’m willing to admit at times. Learning and writing about the body has been my life. And that’s why I’m happy to introduce you to S. Island.
No other concept or framework explains matters of physical change quite like S. Island. Fat loss? Muscle building? Both at the same time? It’s all there, and in a way to doesn’t involve the back of your head exploding off in complexity.
Now, S. Island isn’t a place most people visit or even know about; they’re too focused on immediate results. When you think, “I’m fat, I need to lose fat,” you don’t really touch on the bigger piece of what the body wants to do.
The body is smarter than your six-pack. It want’s body fat because fat is being used regularly. It’s being stimulated. That’s how the body works. It’s all about the loopy process. You might have heard some things about muscle building on your adventures, primarily that training actually destroys the muscle and it’s the rest and recovery that makes them stronger. It’s the same thing.
Fat use, breakdown -> fat gain
Muscle use, breakdown -> muscle gain
Of course, the story doesn’t end there. Part of this gain is having enough energy and nutrients around to actually store or build with. If you supply enough nutrients then the stimulation is supported and compensated for. What gets used should be replenished.
And we’ve SsssSSSss’ed enough to not touch down fully on the Island. There are four pieces to the Island. The first three pieces of S. Island come from a friend in Kelly Baggett, but I added the fourth.
Stimulation is the way you train—what you expose your body to. This would be like injecting yourself with a specific pathogen in the name of vaccination.
Supply is what you give your body in terms of energy and nutrients for your functions. Your body prefers specific nutrients for certain jobs.
Signaling is your body doing the dirty work to recognize and put into action the “next” steps inside of the body. In other words, injecting yourself with a pathogen (stimulation) for a vaccine doesn’t work unless your body recognizes the danger and kicks the immune system into gear (signaling).
Soul is my addition to this mix because, let’s face it: there are 24 hours in a day. If you train for two hours, four days per week (something considered to be “a lot” by many), that’s 8 hours in one week. Considering there are 168 hours in one week, you’re looking at 160 hours of “stuff” floating around in the ether of unknown. Soul accounts for things like stress, sleep, and lifestyle—the forgotten 160.
Soul should be a no-brainer though. Take two people with the same “everything else.” One sleeps eight hours every night, takes a two hour nap every day, has a brotherly relationship with friends, and is generally happy. The other sleeps four hours, hates his job, hates his commute, has no friends, feels alone, is and is generally stressed.
Do the math in your head—that’s soul.
Signaling is the master S. It’s why boys gain boatloads of muscle in the absence of training during puberty and why those with hyper-thryroidism can’t seem to gain weight despite eating a normal amount of food.
Unfortunately, signaling is usually out of our direct control (unless you’re taking steroids or some PED; it’s all natural here so I wouldn’t even be able to give suggestions for those that want to go the drug route), which leaves us with three remaining S’s. Each of these things go into creating signaling, but one tops out the list.