T Nation

Can you Gain Muscle with a Calorie Deficit?

Since I do quite a bit of TT/Cycling if by the end of the day I have numbers as the following:

Calories Net Fat Carbs Protein

1400 126 145 300

Can you gain muscle as I have kept protein high as I weigh 175lbs and I believe my bodyfat is around 13%.

What makes the difference to put on lean muscle and if you must always be in a positive caloric intake than is there such a thing as lean muscle gain?

-js

“Can you gain muscle with a calorie deficit?”

No.

Also :

[quote]jsirabella wrote:
Calories Net Fat Carbs Protein

1400 126 145 300
[/quote]

126 + 145 + 300 = 571 calories

And in grams it would be
1134 + 580 + 1200 = 2914 calories…

On the latter you could grow. On the first, you wouldn’t even survive.

Maybe you are misunderstanding

One Day -

Calories Net = 1400 calories
Fat = 126 grams
Carbs = 145 grams
Protein = 300 grams

I weigh 175 lbs and I thought 1.5 or more per lb of body weight should be enough to gain muscle. Now since the calories are less than 2000 a day which is what I believe you need daily than that might not be the case so set aside the workout…what type of diet do you need on a Calorie, Fat, Carbs and Protein to put on muscle?

Just so you know I have been surviving on a lot less than the above for a long time now and have maintained 175lbs for a couple years now.

-js

[quote]Sick Rick wrote:
“Can you gain muscle with a calorie deficit?”

No.

Also :

jsirabella wrote:
Calories Net Fat Carbs Protein

1400 126 145 300

126 + 145 + 300 = 571 calories

And in grams it would be
1134 + 580 + 1200 = 2914 calories…

On the latter you could grow. On the first, you wouldn’t even survive.[/quote]

Maybe you are misunderstanding.

One gram of fat has 9 kcal, carbs and protein are a little over 4 kcal/g.

(126 * 9) + (145 * 4) + (300 * 4)
= 1134 + 580 + 1200
= 2914

At 175lbs, you might grow on 2900kcal/day. You might now. Diet is an individual thing, you need to figure out what works for you.

I believe that you can gain muscle in a calorie deficit as a beginner or if you really switch up your training and challenge your body. But you won’t gain much.

you realise

1g of fat = 9 cals
1g of protein = 4 cals
1g of carbs = 4cals right?

but to answer your question you will not gain any “considerable” muscle whats so ever if you consume 1400 cals per day at 175lbs, you will just get leaner

Yeah, I’m not sure where the 1400kcals came from there bud

[quote]honest wrote:
but to answer your question you will not gain any “considerable” muscle whats so ever if you consume 1400 cals per day at 175lbs, you will just get leaner[/quote]

A lot leaner. Not to mention constantly miserable and hungry. I would strongly recommend you not do that unless you have a good reason (i.e. cutting down for a show or to make weight, but I don’t think that’s the case here).

May I ask than, how many kcal should be a good starting point taking my bodyweight to grow muscle and how should they ideally be broken out in fat, carbs and protein?

Is there a formula or some way to figure it out given a person’s bodyweight?

Just as an fyi my net calories are 1400 because I did three hours of cycling that day…not unusual this time of the year for endurance rides.

Thank you for this info.

-js

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
Maybe you are misunderstanding.

One gram of fat has 9 kcal, carbs and protein are a little over 4 kcal/g.

(126 * 9) + (145 * 4) + (300 * 4)
= 1134 + 580 + 1200
= 2914

At 175lbs, you might grow on 2900kcal/day. You might now. Diet is an individual thing, you need to figure out what works for you.

I believe that you can gain muscle in a calorie deficit as a beginner or if you really switch up your training and challenge your body. But you won’t gain much.[/quote]

Thank you for the reply I am trying to gain muscle but not put on too much bodyweight during the process meaning…not go through a big weight gain than weight loss phase. I do want to put on muscle for the TT to generate more power but keep my bodyweight most specifically bodyfat low.

-js

[quote]honest wrote:
you realise

1g of fat = 9 cals
1g of protein = 4 cals
1g of carbs = 4cals right?

but to answer your question you will not gain any “considerable” muscle whats so ever if you consume 1400 cals per day at 175lbs, you will just get leaner[/quote]

They are “net” calories as I minus out the calories lost during the three hours of cycling.

-js

[quote]Burst wrote:
Yeah, I’m not sure where the 1400kcals came from there bud[/quote]

No definitely not the reason…

The main reason is to put on as much muscle without having to go through phases of bulking than shrinking for riding the bike during TT. The extra muscle will be helpful to generate more watts.

But it may be that this may require periodization like cycling where you must get bigger than leaner.

-js

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
honest wrote:
but to answer your question you will not gain any “considerable” muscle whats so ever if you consume 1400 cals per day at 175lbs, you will just get leaner

A lot leaner. Not to mention constantly miserable and hungry. I would strongly recommend you not do that unless you have a good reason (i.e. cutting down for a show or to make weight, but I don’t think that’s the case here).[/quote]

Do you know what your body fat percentage is?

I have a friend who is an endurance cyclist. He eats somewhere around 6000cal/day and when prepping for racing he gets sick a lot because his body fat drops way too low.

I have put on muscle in a caloric deficit from time to time, but generally you won’t.

Ok, I finally see what you’re talking about.

There are formulas to figure out the amount of calories you burn just by living, but they don’t really apply to an athlete like you. I assume you’ve had your VO2max tested; using that data could give you a better idea of where you’re at.

But, I’d just read this article and eat like an Olympic athlete.

I only have my scale to go by which I admit is not that great but based upon that and the tape measures I would say about 13%. I am 43 years old and about 68 inches tall. During race season try to get between 8-10%.

I know a bunch of guys that also get sick before a race as they try to get to about a bodyfat of 6% but honestly I disagree you should go this low for cycling as it really only helps you if you plan on doing races with lots of climbing. Otherwise especially for TT it is not necessary at all.

-js

[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
Do you know what your body fat percentage is?

I have a friend who is an endurance cyclist. He eats somewhere around 6000cal/day and when prepping for racing he gets sick a lot because his body fat drops way too low.

I have put on muscle in a caloric deficit from time to time, but generally you won’t.[/quote]

That sounds pretty healthy. If you want to gain some muscle, you’ll likely gain some fat but with your discipline and activity level I don’t think you’ll have any trouble getting it back down for your racing season.

It’s all a series of ebbs and flows.

I agree with HoratioSandaval, check out Berardi’s stuff on g-flux.

Thank you very much.

This is exactly what I was thinking about. A really good read so far. I think this may work out really well with cycling also as I burn so many calories.

But is there a general rule for a given individual’s bodyweight that a certain amount of calories/fat/carbs/protein needed that will generate a pound of muscle?

Maybe I am just not thinking of it correctly as I never thought in terms of adding muscle may all depend on the individual and how the body reacts to the combination of exercise and diet.

I guess my background makes me always think in terms of formulas and numbers and thought some general rule of thumb as I always heard about how you need to eat 1.5 - 2 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight but not much more.

-js

[quote]HoratioSandoval wrote:
Ok, I finally see what you’re talking about.

There are formulas to figure out the amount of calories you burn just by living, but they don’t really apply to an athlete like you. I assume you’ve had your VO2max tested; using that data could give you a better idea of where you’re at.

But, I’d just read this article and eat like an Olympic athlete.

Somewhat off topic: I always laugh a little bit when people who are not total beginners claim to gain lots of muscle when dieting.

If you are in negative calorie balance, please enlighten me to how new tissue magically gets synthesized.

I didn’t claim to gain lots of muscle and I don’t think there is anything magical about it. People only think things are magical when they don’t understand them.

[quote]jsirabella wrote:
I guess my background makes me always think in terms of formulas and numbers and thought some general rule of thumb as I always heard about how you need to eat 1.5 - 2 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight but not much more.

-js
[/quote]

That is the generally accepted rule of thumb.

When you put it that way it does sound silly. I guess they mistaken muscle gain with simply less bodfyfat so they can finally see their muscles.

So does the term putting on “lean muscle” incorrect?

-js

[quote]hexx wrote:
Somewhat off topic: I always laugh a little bit when people who are not total beginners claim to gain lots of muscle when dieting.

If you are in negative calorie balance, please enlighten me to how new tissue magically gets synthesized. [/quote]