I very rarely find myself disagreeing with Thunder, but this is one of those times.
I think that his point about there being a good deal of leeway with caliper measurements (or any other kind of BF measurement, for that matter) is right on. But just because the measurement might not be totally accurate doesn’t mean that you can’t gain LBM while hypo-caloric.
If you look at the results of the top ten or so people who competed in the HR contest, it is very clear from the pictures what’s happening. Admittedly, two of the top four didn’t take pictures that are truly comparable, but most of the rest of us did. In particular, John Roman’s shots are very comparable, as are mine. When you add the photographic evidence to the caliper and scale numbers, the case begins to be pretty unassailable, IMHO. And neither of us are exactly newbies.
Now, admittedly, there is a caveat. Those of us who used Joel’s CD/EDT protocol bounced calories on a very well-timed basis. So I guess that you could say that - strictly speaking - we didn’t gain any LBM while we were losing weight. I.e., the gains came when we were overfeeding. But overall, the diet for any given four-day period is, in fact, hypocaloric, so it seems to me that the above objection is really pretty moot.
(And if anyone were to say "Yes, but I really want to know if you can gain LBM while being hypocaloric every day, my response would be: “I don’t know, but why would you want to use a method that doesn’t work very well on yourself when there are better ways to go?” Doesn’t seem to make much sense.)
I think that what people may be overlooking here is the hormonal effect of meal timing. You can’t just look at the total number of calories and make predictions about fatloss or LBM anymore. We’re well beyond that stage now.