T Nation

Lagging Bodyparts + Caloric Deficit

For arguments sake lets say that my biceps are very behind in my triceps. I do tons of pressing but no curls, or whatever scenario would make this true.

Is it possible to bring up a lagging bodypart while you don’t have enough energy to grow completly? One one hand I could see a big fat no coming, because you need to be in a caloric surplus to grow. But, whenever there is a lagging bodypart or two, it seems like the body is just dying to correct that, and once that part starts getting trained it just blows up.

Would a diet be an alright time to work on bodyparts that are understimulated, or should one save that for when they start gaining again?

Beginners commonly put on mass while losing weight (fat). A neglected body part (not necessarily lagging) is similar in the sense that it hasn’t been getting stimulus for a long time so it’ll most likely grow if you start trainging it even when you are in a caloric deficit. I think that the same wouldn’t apply to a body part that’s being worked on but still lags. That could be genetics or you might have to find other ways to train it.

So, yes, I think a lagging body part will grow in a caloric deficit if it has been understimulated before. However, why not just finish the cut and start focusing on it when in a caloric surplus? that would surely give the best results.

I think any bodypart I have at this point has been worked, but still lags a bit. My chest is a bit smaller than my shoulders proportionately, yet I have still added some size on it. I’m probably past the complete bigger stage where I could do anything at all and gain weight. I have trouble with my chest opposed to my triceps as far as strength, and will be adding in some pec deck/cable flys as soon as I finish my diet, but was wondering if it would be better to start now.

Nothings truly never been worked, but has just received a bit less stimulation, like the case of my chest. I bench with a closer grip, and thats most all I have been doing as a chest exercise, logically my chest is a bit smaller.

It’s always possible to shock a muscle. A new program that hits the bi’s 2-3 times per week could do you well. It’s not the type of program you could get away with indefinately.

But, to answer your question, fo sho it’s possible.

I understand, I actually have a similar issue with chest. Here’s my take on it: when you’re cutting high volume is not advised (recovery is obviously harder when cutting.) So say you’re training 3 days with a some sort of split and trying to keep your strength while cutting. This would leave you little time to specialize in chest because you’re trying to hit each body part decently in 3 days to preserve muscle. When you start eating more again, you can now increase the volume of training (4-5 days, or just more exercises per day etc.) and you can focus on the lagging part. This is almost exactly what I’m doing now and it seems to be working.

Long answer short: focusing on a body part while cutting probably isn’t the best idea. If you’re doing a single set a week for chest then bringing that up to normal levels would make sense. Otherwise, wait for surplus.

[quote]jdrannin1 wrote:
It’s always possible to shock a muscle. A new program that hits the bi’s 2-3 times per week could do you well. It’s not the type of program you could get away with indefinately.

But, to answer your question, fo sho it’s possible.[/quote]

I’d agree. I’m no expert but I think that typically smaller body parts can be brought up more easily on caloric restriction than large ones, simply because the systemic stress of working them more often is not as severe and doesn’t require as much to recover from.

You couldn’t do it indefinitely, and it’s not optimal, but it should definitely be possible.

I think possibly a periodized nutrition plan could work to your benefit here (carb/calorie cycling etc) as well, though I’ve not really ever played with a nutrient cycling diet. By all accounts it seems to work extremely well.

For the last 7 weeks I’ll be following a somewhat carb cycled diet. On workout days I get 70-100 grams, on non workout days I get 0-50.

I think I’ll hit my bi’s with a pretty high volume, and my chest with the same and let you know how it goes.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
For the last 7 weeks I’ll be following a somewhat carb cycled diet. On workout days I get 70-100 grams, on non workout days I get 0-50.

I think I’ll hit my bi’s with a pretty high volume, and my chest with the same and let you know how it goes. [/quote]

It’s a good idea to have higher carb days on the same days you work your lagging muscles.