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What Happens If Lifting Hard With Caloric Deficit?

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  • #16
    You won't see as good results lifting on a calorie deficit...

    Because you'll eventually run out of blood sugar (glucose) and seek to use your muscle glycogen (sugar stored in your muscles). When this happens, you ability to lift goes down noticeably. So deficit --> weight lifting is harder.

    I think you can put on muscle in a slight deficit so long as you have positive nitrogen balance but that you're not getting gains anywhere near as good as they could be if you had a 400cal surplus (or thereabouts).


    • #17
      Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
      if you're a newb, you'll gain a little muscle, a little strength, and probably shed some fat. so you will look and feel better. but you really can't gain any serious muscle mass without a surplus. and anyone telling you otherwise is just plain wrong.

      SS and PB fitness will definitely not produce the same results.

      whenever changing your body is concerned (gaining mass/losing fat/etc), diet is always a concern.
      I am in agreement. I have been dieting and following paleo for a long time while lifting and while I diet I am unable to add muscle. If you are complete beginner you may make some gains early on.
      Fitness Wayne | Paleo Health, Exercise and Weight Loss Blog
      Fitness Wayne Facebook Page


      • #18
        Interesting OP question and responses.

        Originally posted by egrok View Post
        So lifting heavy things early in the morning before breakfast, then immediately having some good carbs like fruit or yams and either a protein source or shake is recommended, yes or no?
        This is what I plan on doing starting Monday (because the gym is wayy too packed at 6 pm). It seems more convenient to me to go to the gym without eating then eating afterwards, or else I'd have to get up even earlier before class to make two meals!
        I don't think it is a good idea lifting or doing any exercise before your breakfast. It would be fine getting in the gym early but you should eat something before any activity in the morning. Your body is already in deficit when you wake up so you need breakfast. Maybe if time is a problem a solution could be to drink a smoothie before exercise for quickness and then eat after?


        • #19
          I do my workouts after taking supplemental BCAA's, as per Martin Berkhan's recommendations.
          I bought unflavoured BCAA first, but since it tastes like ass I had to buy a bottle of flavoured that I mix it with.

          I'm not lifting super heavy at the moment (squats 143lbs, deadlifts at 250lbs), but I can't say I feel weaker when I skip breakfast.
          Last edited by Ghshl; 10-30-2012, 04:07 AM.


          • #20
            On page 259 of Rippoetoe's Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity (a collection of forum posts) Rip responds to a question about Starting Strength for the Morbidly Obese. A friend of a 340 pounder wants to know about progression while eating in a caloric deficit.

            Rippetoe suggests a novice can do the program well for months on a Atkins diet for but it is all academic until a person with "fat people's brain" gets off the carbs and starts training for several weeks without anyone else knowing about it.

            The post and the phrase "fat people's brain," haunted me since I first saw it -- I was well over 300 pounds and justified eating hard (and bad) to maintain my strength levels. Thanks to Mark's Daily Apple I finally was able to kick my carb addiction and it has made a huge difference.

            I am down 62 pounds since April and have maintained or even added some to my strength levels. Not sure how much muscle I have been able to add but what I have looks much better not hidden under all that excess body fat and a triple X clothing.

            I lift very hard three days a week. I start with squats every workout because it provides such a great hormonal response for the rest of my workout, finish with a protein shake (just water and powder) and then make a point of getting plenty of protein in the next two meals. I eat a caloric deficit on my recovery days and before my workout on lift days.
            April 2012, SW 330 / CW 266 / GW Able to do 10 pull ups
            Personal best lifts: Squat - 315, Deadlift - 435, Bench - 275, Press - 165 Strong enough? Not yet!

            Father of 3 young boys who has gone Paleo to kick a 40-year addiction to carbs. An aspiring powerlifter who wants to be the strongest (and now fittest) dad on the playground.


            • #21
              I've done it in a deficit. I never gained any muscle, but I did get stronger. (neuromuscular adaptations.)
              My wife also did SS in a deficit. She went from a 45lb squat to a 190lb squat, 80lb deadlift to 215lb deadlift. The entire time eating something like 1500 calories. As said before, there's a point where you can hit the wall.

              I hit the wall at a 200lb squat and couldn't break through it until I started eating more. And I'm fat (22% bf.)

              I'm doing 5:2 now, eating like a monster for 5 days, deficit for 2, and seems to be working out for both weight loss and strength gainnnzzz. (But I've slipped off the paleo wagon to get the 3300-3800 on beast days, so... relevance. )