T Nation

Lifting/Non-Lifting Food Intake


It's always been my understanding that when cutting, or at anytime really, calories should be lower on non-lifting days, due to the fact that less activity is taking place and as such, less calories are being burned or used.

However, it's also been my understanding that the body needs calories and nutrients to grow as well as maintain current muscle.

That being said, since it is widely held that muscle growth/repair doesn't happen in the gym, but at home while you rest, wouldn't it make more sense to actually feed the repairing muscles more so then, as opposed to on days you lift?

Just something I've never fully understood. Thanks for any input.


Are you trying to bulk, maintain or cut? It makes a big difference in your nutrition strategy.


your theory is great except for you forgot that it takes energy to move weights and that is why you eat more on lifting days. Yeah still supposed to eat above maintenance on non-lifting days just not as much as lifting days.


Currently I'm cutting...but that's not why I'm asking the question. I'm not asking for something pertaining to me & my situation, but more of a general consensus-type thing on something I've always wondered.


Personally, I think you'd still manage enough energy to lift by sticking to a basic diet, regardless of your goals.

Currently I'm cutting, and even eating at below maintenance every day I have no problem pushing good weight. Now, I'm also on the Anabolic Diet, so that could be part of the reason right there.


1) Americans eat alot anyway. We eat waaaayyy more than metabolic baseline.

2) I was answering your question as to why to eat less on non-lifting days, despite the fact that you want to feed the muscle. It takes more calories in a day to go through a workout than it does to build muscle.

3)Pushing good weight and building muscle are two totoally different things. Are you making great gains in strength and size? or are you just losing fat? Losing fat is not the same as building muscle and you should rephrase your question differently.

4)Depending on your history you may have enough fat to support your energy levels with a minimal diet.

5) Everybody is different.


Right on. I appreciate the feedback.

The only thing is, I'm looking at this thing hypothetically, not in regards to anything I'm working on. It's just a nagging nutrition question I've always had. So maybe I should have phrased the initial question differently...maybe in which situation would it be more beneficial to concentrate on non-lifting nutrition for repairs, more so than same-day nutrition.