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Thread: What Happens If Lifting Hard With Caloric Deficit? page 2

  1. #11
    jfreaksho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Thank you for asking those questions. I was wondering the same thing. I want more strength but I also don't want to get fatter. I am female so care little about gaining muscle mass. But I care everything about gaining real strength. Can you eat a calorie deficit and gain strength?
    Yes, but your recovery time will be longer. I keep forgetting to eat enough/ force myself to eat enough to gain weight, so I'm building strength on Stronglifts but not really gaining mass as I'd like. I'm 5'10", 161lbs, and I'd like to be about 170+. I'm just not eating enough.

  2. #12
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    You do not need a calorie surplus if your bodyfat is normal or above normal. You can build muscle on a small deficit, less than 300. But when you start going into the low body fat levels(below 10%) then chances are your body won't like sacrificing body fat for muscle.

  3. #13
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    Gaining muscle mass and losing weight/fat at the same time is an act in futility. It just does not happen that way "normally". You could do some sort of calorie cycling approach like lean gains to accomplish a recomposition, but the main attribute of strength training while in a deficit, again, is to notify the body that we are currently in dire need of this muscle mass! We are using it! You may burn fat....but the muscles and lean mass is needed!.....lean tissue is more costly metabolically, so if it is not needed your body WILL burn it with the fat as a combo effort to meet the reduced caloric load....by burning lean mass you reduce BMR and provide energy. With fat you only provide energy. Your body needs a stimulus that tells it to keep the lean mass to ensure survival and resistance training provides that stimulus. Hormonal cascades ensue and bam....your lean. Thats it.

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    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!

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    I've made pretty good strength gains while being in a caloric deficit. I started with Starting Strength, then modified it by doing 1 set at my 5RM, then 2 sets at my 3RM (15 lbs. heavier than 5RM). My deadlift max increased by 50 pounds in a little over a month. Bench and squat didn't go up as much, but still increased. I haven't gained muscle mass, but I have maintained what I have. I'll up my calories when I get my body fat percentage down to my goal level.
    "Don't waste your time, or time will waste you."

  6. #16
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    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).

  7. #17
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    Quote 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.

  8. #18
    Neely's Avatar
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    Interesting OP question and responses.

    Quote 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?

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    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 at 05:07 AM.

  10. #20
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    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.

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