Does Progressively Overloading Always Mean Building Muscle?

I’m in a deficit of 200 cal now, slowly losing bodyfat, meanwhile I keep getting stronger in my training by increasing reps almost every workout. So my question is, do I build muscle? Or only strength, is it even possible to build muscle in a deficit? Additional info: lifting for 1.5 years seriously, 6.3ft 160lbs




how is your training setup? be detailed sets, reps, movements, days

why are you in a deficit? post a pic

you understand this is the margin of error?


This was my first thought as well.

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I tend to make my best progress on lifts while in a deficit, primarily because my training volume is lower, so I’m carrying less fatigue from session to session, which allows me to hit weight or rep PRs.

I’m not building muscle during that time, because I’m not eating or training in a way that will promote that.

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What about your super squats 405 lbs x 20 though?

What about that?

Yes to both.

As long as you’re relatively far away from your muscular genetic limit, quite overweight, or on AAS - Yes.
*if you’re very near 10%BF, i wouldn’t expect to see much muscle gain unless VERY untrained.

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Do you consider it one of your best sets?

No. I’d actually say the 20x400 done before that was much better, and I was able to achieve that primarily because I had significantly less accumulated fatigued at that point compared to when I got to 20x405.

But alongside that, had my goal been to get to 20x405, my method to get there would have been significantly different compared to what Super Squats had me do. With Super Squats, the squats are a driver of the intended outcome of hypertrophy, whereas if the intended outcome is more weight moved during squatting, fatigue management would become far more relevant.

In fact, in that regard, I needed to change the program in the final two weeks in order to manage that very fatigue to even GET to the 20x405. I ended up having to have a light day and a moderate day, similar to the Texas Method, come to think about it.

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In your comment to OP, were you practically just describing periodization?

It wasn’t my intent, no, but periodization is pretty inescapable.

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I bulked up about 2 years, and got relatively fat. Wanted to reduce that. Do I need to be in a larger deficit? Margin of error? Planning to bulk soon again once I lost some fat. Thanks for the replies tho :slight_smile:

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I know it sounds strange, and skinny. But I’ve set a good foundation

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And let’s say if i want to bulk again soon, what would be the amount of surplus for minimal fat gain?

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To 160lbs?

Are you losing .5-1lb per week?

Food labels are allowed to lie about calorie content by up to 20%.

Even the most diligent calorie counter may not be tracking and weighing as accurately as they believe.

Combine those factors and you have a margin of error.

I’d start at 500cals and if gaining to fast reduce from there.

Please post a pic.


Bulked up to 187 lbs, i cutted down to this

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At a height of 6" taller than me, you bulked up to a weight that I have to spend a serious amount of time/effort cutting down to.

You are primed to grow significantly larger than this my dude.

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Pretty sure, thanks for the advice. I was just uncomfortable with my bodyfat percentage

Is eating around maintenance calories an option maybe?

Pretty much everything is an option. “Nothing is true: everything is permitted”