T Nation

Hypocaloric Muscle Building

We have all heard the dogma that it is impossible to build muscle while losing fat but I think differently now (only because of my own modest gains). Someone with significant amounts of stored body-fat can eat a low calorie diet and use their stored fat for energy to build new muscle mass.

Assuming proper amounts of amino acids, micronutrients, and stimulus are supplied why should our body care where its energy comes from - whether stored as body fat or consumed in diet?

The rules for fatties:

  1. train to get stronger
  2. eat nutrient dense, real food (think lots of vegetables and some animal based protein)
  3. recover
  4. repeat

Personally, I made some great gains while I was cutting. I was a bit under trained and holding a bit of bf. I was making gains while eating 1800-2000 cals a day (super low, I know). I shed about 10 lbs of bodyfat while making gains in lean mass. If I recall, I went from 208 lbs @ 14% bf to 204 lbs @ 11% bf in about a month.

Exactly. Under-trained people with greater than 10% body-fat are the perfect candidates for this approach.

Over the last several months I have gone from 206 @18% to 203 @ 13%

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Exactly. Under-trained people with greater than 10% body-fat are the perfect candidates for this approach.[/quote]

Indeed. This approach is less successful carrying a lot of muscle mass or people with sub-10% bf. I’m sure of it. I believe at that stage, you need to have nutrient timing down along with making sure your hormones are properly regulated and supported.

Very hoping this to be true…with the leangains approach.

At this point in my life to get the scale moving up means a 1:1 ratio of fat to muscle gains. So tight bulking for me is an damn understatement.

Ya … I hope this works for me too. I’ve been 18-20% BF basically my whole life. I finally decided to pair up with Shelby Starnes. All i need now is some serious self discipline!