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    silas1984's Avatar
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    What Happens If Lifting Hard With Caloric Deficit?

    Primal Fuel
    What would happen if a person were to follow the Starting Strength workout regimen and the Primal Blueprint eating concepts? I believe most folks feel that to gain mass (and strength?, maybe not) a person must have a caloric surplus. What exactly happens if a person lifts according to that plan, but has a diet with a caloric deficit while maintaining adequate nutrients, protein, and fat? Is there an increased risk of illness or injury? Will you not see as good of results?

    I am nowhere near needing to worry about this, as I am only 4 days into eating and exercising according to the Primal Blueprint, but I eventually want to start lifting for strength and mass and the Starting Strength seems appealing. Should the eating plan change when lifting heavy (heavier)? Or do I not have a firm grasp yet on what all the Primal Blueprint Fitness entails? Meaning, will advancing through all 9 stages of each Primal movement develop similar strength and mass as SS, with no concerns about diet included in either. Also, what advantages are there to continuing with the Primal movements through stage 9 rather than going to a gym and using barbells for the major (squat, bench, dead, overhead) lifts?

    If this should be in the nutrition forum, just let me know and I will repost. If my questions aren't clear, I will try to elaborate if needed.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    not on the rug's Avatar
    not on the rug is online now Senior Member
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    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.

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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    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?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    wolfman's Avatar
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    It is true, to get really big you need a calorie surplus, but I always tell my clients to always lift hard, focus on really smart post and Pre workout nutrition, and eat lots of good primal foods, I say you should keep lifting heavy and eating primal until you hit a plataue. Than maybe decide what your goals may be. I have no desire to be a bodybuilder so I don't need to eat that much, if I want to gain muscle I'll usually just add more eggs or Greek yogurt to my diet

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    i did stronglifts for a while when i was doing weight watchers, and was able to get to some respectable numbers on a pretty good calorie deficit. i trimmed down a good amount. by the end of the time i was doing SL, i had switched to a mostly primal diet still with a good caloric deficit 5-6 days per week. i kept getting stronger the whole time i stayed with it, and kept getting smaller...and that was usually with the PWO carbs and the things that are supposed to make you bigger. nope. my muscles got hard, not big. but, my goal was to shrink.
    you want to be big, you've got to feed.

    as far as PBF vs. a barbel program, the difficulties may be similar, but the results will be a lot different. i think benefits and drawbacks to both are personal. for me, bodyweight movements provide enough difficulty (though, i've added weight/leverage to a few of them) and allow me to move my body through space, which i want to be able to do. if i can bench 300 but not climb a tree, i'm doing it wrong. plus, i like the isolation of working out at home...puts in a sort of meditative state. but if impressive numbers are what you want, going barbel is great. you can always get the best of both worlds with sandbag.

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    Miscellangela's Avatar
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    If you're new, you will gain some strength and lose some fat. But once your lifts start to stall, you may need to decide between temporary caloric surplus for strength gains or caloric deficit for fat loss. It helps to set goals and cycle between the two, but your strength progress will always be much faster as a noob - don't ruin it with a huge deficit. But by caloric surplus, I don't mean the whole "stuff your face and GOMAD" unless you're a skinny teenage boy. A moderate surplus will be fine for all but hardgainers. If you notice yourself getting chunky, dial it back a bit. The more muscle you have, the easier fat loss is.

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    Mr. Anthony's Avatar
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    silas, since you're new to this whole thing (according to your post), for right now just eat clean and lift heavy. If you follow one of the linear progressions like you're talking about, you'll get stronger, period, for quite a while. Reassess in 8 months or so if you need to be eating more/less or changing up your workout. It is very possible to get very strong without getting really big, as well. I've dropped a bit of weight since switching to primal (not much/always thin), but I outlift guys way bigger than me, and am probably stronger than I was even when I was a gym monster 10 years ago.

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    Miscellangela's Avatar
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    Personal anecdote applies - i wasn't very hungry yesterday, so I gave myself a day off eating so damn much. Just had normal portions, and still felt stuffed. Today at the gym, most of my lifts sucked big time (still PRed my squat, though!). I probably ate about 1500 calories yesterday - it happens that quickly for me. I don't lift again til monday, so i'm giving myself a break with the food today and tomorrow, then i'll go back to about 3000 calories on Sunday. Betcha all of my lifts get better - does it every time.

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Basically lifting weights while in a caloric deficit will assure that your body preferentially retains lean mass and burns fat. You can gain strength while in a caloric deficit, but that is not necessarily mass.

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Another newbie here...

    Just as a small side note. I have been lifting for over 10 years and just recently decided to lower my carb level for weight loss.

    Yesterday was leg day...

    It took me a little while to realize two things: (1) your strength will be down some (not lots, but some), and (2) you need to add more rest time between sets. You can train, but it will sap you fast. Power it up for as many reps as possible, and then let your body recoup a little longer than you normally would.

    I didn't do #2 during my first few exercises and almost fell face first while standing on a bench. Learned my lesson. You may also want to eat some squash or sweet potatoes before your strength workouts to help you have some extra stamina... My 2 cents. Good luck!
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