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Cannot Build Muscle on Caloric Deficit?

hi guys, i’ve seen this across the boards many times, that you can’t build muscle while on a caloric deficit. however, it doesn’t really make sense to me.

i envision it this way…
an overweight guy tries to lose weight by hitting the gym, cardio and being on a caloric deficit. if he couldn’t build muscle while on a caloric deficit, then by the end of the ‘cut’, he wouldnt have gained any muscle even though he’s been hitting the gym?

could someone clear this up for me? whether it’s a misunderstanding on my part, or it being more complicated than this. thanks!

I think you’re just confusing getting stronger with building muscle.

Gaining muscle on a caloric deficit is much, much harder = impossible in most cases. However, this changes if

  • you have very little training experience and your body is eager to adapt
  • you are on a program that taxes your muscles in a special way. High frequency templates and certain olympic lifting protocols come to mind.

Unfortunately, calories do not create muscle growth themselves - they’re permissive to it. This is where people go wrong - if you turn into a fattie while trying to get muscles, you’re eating too much. It pains me whenever a young guy has been training&eating for a year, has reached 20% bodyfat people tell him “keep bulking bro”…

[quote]LTKO wrote:
hi guys, i’ve seen this across the boards many times, that you can’t build muscle while on a caloric deficit. however, it doesn’t really make sense to me.

i envision it this way…
an overweight guy tries to lose weight by hitting the gym, cardio and being on a caloric deficit. if he couldn’t build muscle while on a caloric deficit, then by the end of the ‘cut’, he wouldnt have gained any muscle even though he’s been hitting the gym?

could someone clear this up for me? whether it’s a misunderstanding on my part, or it being more complicated than this. thanks![/quote]
It definitely makes a difference if you are fat to begin with. Fat cells that are already large are less apt to absorb nutrients which means that more nutrients will be allocated to the muscles. An overfat beginner can gain muscle without getting fatter or even while losing fat. However, he probably wouldn’t be losing much weight.

I started working out 5 months ago and was fairly fat. I was 210lbs, 5’10", with a 40 inch waist. I now am 225lbs with a 39 inch waist. I still have a ways to go both in strength and in fat loss. However, I believe, and some rough body fat estimates show, that I lost some fat while putting on quite a bit of muscle. That said, I don’t want to get much heavier and have been adjusting my diet to try and just maintain weight while getting stronger.

That said, I suppose you couldn’t say that I have been operating at a caloric deficit since my total bodyweight has gone up. My point is I don’t think it is a requirement that a beginner gain fat if he wants to gain muscle, especially if he is fat to begin with.

About 6 months ago there was an article about a 10,000 KettleBell swings challenge. It was 1,000 reps daily X 10. There were about 5 participants with various background and 4 realized a body recomposition(adding muscles and loosing fat(excess, some might be water in my opinion).

So a myth is persisting that low cal = no muscle gain or almost no muscle gains.

We mainly rely on bro science so some will argue that i am wrong.

BB is a twisted world. About 60 years ago the Weider family took control, made million$$$ with magazines selling supplements and including articles like 6 daily meals are a must, so supplements are convenient/a must. They got a vertical control with publications, associations, etc…

To this day what they said/wrote has been repeated so often like politicians they created facts out of their ass/will to profit.

BB is somewhat like poker.
If you miss you can blame luck/genetics.
Most believe they are better than average.
Reality has only a small place.
I know allmost nothing about BB but last month i called a liar dislexic for pretentending we was lifting 485 for reps and that is for 4 times what i do with more traps. It was ridiculous but some defended him on the basis of sooooo porly retouched pics. He got congratulations for his huge wheels(painted outside the lines by his 4 years old brother).

Many gain muscles on 0.7 or 0.8 gram per pound but many say it is impossible(i do).

Well you get my drift.

It is not a damn myth bHappy. There is very real actual science behind it. The rules change for an obese guy losing weight, for what one would hope are obvious reasons. They also change in very specific and finely balanced equilibria, but are NOT bro science. For every person thst accidentally finds the perfect exception to the rule, where are thousands upon thousands of peoole who are absolute living “proof” of the rule. No matter how right you might be about Weider in your post, you’re still wrong about the “myth”.

Also your kettlebell example doesn’t support your argument. It was not that they were on low calorie diet. They increased the volume of workload, which has entirely different consequences. That artle actually plays DIRECTLY into the idea of “G flux” as a governor of metabolic response, NOT low calorie diets leading to muscle gain. They are VERY different.