T Nation

Gaining Strength When Dieting? WTF

I am not a total beginner, but since I am “back” after a long layoff, I figure I’ll post my questions here. I am currently following Waterbury’s “Get Lean” program from his “Huge in a Hurry” book. The results thus far have been phenomenal. I have lost approx 30 lbs of fat since mid-November, and this includes a total break from my diet for approx. two weeks at Christmas time.

So, every four weeks, Chad prescribes a “loading” week where the trainer performs very low reps for strength and presumably, to avoid excessive muscle loss. This being my loading week, I was pumped for Monday’s workout. When I got to the final exercise, deadlifts, the weights didn’t feel all that heavy, so I kept ramping up the weights.

I ended up hitting a PR of 315lbs for 3. Now I know that for most people here, that’s not a huge deal, but it’s the most I’ve ever pulled, and I’m lighter and leaner than I’ve ever been.

I’m not complaining, by any means, but has anyone else experienced strength gains while leaning out? Is it just because I’m a “beginner”?

First of all congrats on the progress you’ve made so far.
As to getting stronger while leaning out, it’s a myth (there are certain exceptions to this like power-lifters but they are in another category of strength) that this should not be possible for the vast majority of the population.

If you’ve got the rigth attitude and it sounds like you do then you should definitely be able to get stronger.

Now this is obviously going to be more true for a beginner as your body is still learning to recruit more muscle fibers but even as you progress although the strength increases may not be as dramatic if you expect it of yourself it will happen

I’m currently cutting, and the first 3 weeks of it I hit PRs in every lift. I attribute it to better form, and higher quality food intake.