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Lagging Bodyparts + Cutting


What's the accepted wisdom about whether to address a lagging bodypart on a calorific deficit? Anyone have any experience with adding size to a bodypart whilst cutting overall?




I would say it depends on lagging said body part is. If development is practically non-existent, then yes you may seem some improvement. No where near as much as you would when in a caloric surplus and gains are being made all around with proper recovery.


I have never been successful trying to improve a specific bodypart while on maitenance level or lower.


agree with this.


Anyone ever tried using a cheat/high carb/high(er) calorie day on the day they train a specific body part?


Never occurred to me, but that's an intriguing idea, given that even in the bulking phase, your 8 hours of sleep is effectively a cut.

It did occur to me to become a "Bicep Boy" for the duration of the cut, ie do maintenance work for the rest of my body, quite literally without strain, and absolutely hammer my bi's/tri's. I really wrinkle my nose at the thought doing any training half-heartedly, but at the moment it's all I can think that might help.


Well, awhile back I believe it was Dr Clay Hyght who was prepping a man for a competition, and it became apparent his chest was lagging. They greatly increased the frequency and were able to bring it up to an acceptable level.

Here you go:



Maintenance work for the rest of your body, without strain, during a cut, will definitely mean lots of muscle loss. If you really have to cut, why not work everything out hard and worry about bringing up your arms when you can eat again?


You're gonna compete? If you aren't, it doesn't make any sense, and you should've put attention to the lagging bodypart since the offseason anyways. If you wanna bring up a lagging bodypart, stop playing and stop the cut or keep cutting but just focusing on that goal.


That is a fascinating article!!! Kudos to you for bringing it to my attention!! Sadly now I come to think about it, I have THREE areas that lag (Arms/Glutes + Traps worst).

I think on balance I should content myself with cutting, but dammit, I hate the thought of leaving work undone.

Life is so much more HAPPY when bulking. :slightly_smiling:

Thanks again for the article Rock, good on you mate.


If by lagging bodyparts we're talking about muscle groups lagging as a direct consequence of being neglected as opposed to muscles that just won't grow (a lot) no matter how hard you hit 'em (calves come to mind, here), then I'd say it's quite easy.

lower volume, high frequency (at the very least twice a week), heavy

To be fair: it depends on the size of the muscle group and its interdependence to other muscle groups.
The more isolated you can train a neglected muscle group, the higher your chances at losing fat and still building this muscle group.

Unless you're talking about a truly neglected (and thus more unconditioned) muscle group, your experience doesn't apply to the OP's question.

I've a good example: my tris have always sucked, as a direct consequence of actually never really training them (apart from a short spell). Never mind the reasons.
That's why I've been hitting them hard, heavy and frequently through some diets. And it actually paid off.

Dito the lats: albeit this was a bit trickier, since it's a bit harder isolating the lats as opposed to isolating the tris.


By definition a 'lagging' and 'neglected' bodypart are two totally different things. If the OP did mean a lagging muscle group, my statement is 'Bang On'. If a lifter has been neglecting a muscle group (regardless of the reason) and he intends to improve that area during a cut; the improvement will be at the exspense of another muscle group, if not the entire body. I suppose if one thinks that alternating areas of neglect to be an effective approach for an otherwise healthly lifter, one could argue that progress had been made.


I made the mistake of tackling the question for the benefit of a beginner/intermediate lifter, since I wouldn't expect an experienced lifter of posing such questions, but my reply came across as having general application.

Agreed, see above.

Only if in the process of improving the lagging muscle during a cut other muscle groups would suffer insofar as they'd shrunk. If one managed to cut to the desired bf level while maintaining the muscle of non-lagging muscle groups and increasing the lagging one(s), it'd still be progress (as you've grudgingly 'admitted').

And this is where my above comment concerning the OP's training state and goals come into play.
If we're talking getting ready for the beach, my rationale would apply.
Not so for getting bb-contest-ready, though. I guess. I haven't dieted down to those bf levels, yet.

Bottom line: this can only be answered with more data, such as:
-current state
-lagging muscle group(s) (see my first post in this thread: improving an isolable lagging muscle group is way easier than doing so with a big muscle group)


In general, you don't even expect to bring up a lagging body part on a caloric deficit. Holding onto the muscle you have is problem enough for most people unless you are a genetic freak....and we sure as hell don't have many of those on this site.

I have gained some muscle in spite of dropping weight, but I won't pretend for a second that most of that isn't because of my massive protein intake lately and the fact that I am working on recomp instead of all out dieting to drop the most weight. I think I am down ten pounds overall which has given me periods of increased food intake to hold onto that muscle at all costs. Once I really start dropping cals, I won't be expecting increased muscle mass at all.


-- removed by Fatty to be re-posted in T-Cell --


I think the problem is that the guy isn't willing to sacrifice some time to develop the lagging bodypart optimally and he wants to look cut for the summer or something. I suspect that he is on a stage where he wouldn't have any rush to cut right now.


Dude, no offense, but I have to call bullshit. Someone who literally had "no trouble at all" adding muscle while eating enough to lose weight would be like Kevin Levrone and simply grow into contest shape. You would be way bigger than you are even though you aren't small by any stretch of the imagination.

I just wrote that I gained SOME muscle while eating less, but I also know that is because I am NOT on some all out strict diet like I will be in the months to come.

This is what confuses the shit out of newbs because they will be the type to read what you wrote and commence to not eating because they think they can gain muscle optimally while eating less.



No doubt. He's likely a newb...but people here are acting like he can make huge gains while eating less. I don't understand why anyone would write that. You will not be growing much at all with that type of thinking.

Who the fuck is gaining 50lbs of muscle while dieting tons of fat off?


Maybe just a newb who just starts juicing with everything since day 1 and has really good genes. So it's like 1 in a million possibilities, or even less, but everyone likes to think their genes are like the pro's.


-- removed by Fatty to be re-posted in T-Cell --