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Possible to Gain Muscle while Cutting?

ok so i know this has been beatin to death but i think my situation is a little different. i started working out about a year ago maybe a little less and was 250 pounds with a lot of extra fat. i was sort of off and on. but i made a lot of strength gains this past 3 months and look a lot better but now I’m on a cut down. i weighed myself like 3 weeks ago and i was 265 and now I’m 245.

my question is is it possible at all to gain muscle while cutting? before my diet was SHIT with shit like pineapple upside down cake twice a week and solo much white bread. now i eat healthy and take fish oil and creatine and lots of protein my deadlift actually went up 20 pounds since the cut (maybe cause of extra belly room idk) so since I’m still considered a beginner can i still make small gains while cutting since my diet and stuff is 1000 times better than when i was “bulking” (shoulda never done that) i just need some inspiration.

I’m deff starting to look better i always had broad shoulders and a nice thick body but I’m just wondering if i can make any gains while cutting if i really put my mind to my lifts (strong lifts) btw the deficit I’m at is like over 500 calories. I’m eating 2400 calories and i consider myself sedentary even though I’m prob lightly active

Ok buddy, I will try to help you out but there is quite a bit wrong with this whole scenario.

First of all, dropping 20 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t good. That is way too fast for weight loss. That sort of drop implies crash dieting and will leave you high and dry very soon.

Secondly, actually it goes along with point 1^^… Your calories are way to low. 2,400 calories for a 245-250 pound male? Way to low. What is your next step going to be when weigh loss stalls? Drop another 500 calories to 1,900? Then where do you go from there? You’re jn starvation mode before you know it. Cutting calories too drasticly too soon is “Bad Dieting 101” my friend. Slow and steady… Slow and steady.

Thirdly, yes of course you can still build muscle and put on strength while dropping bodyfat BUT not for very long at all with your current set up… Especially if you are a beginner. With your calorie level I would imagine that you’re going to stall out and get frustrated very soon.

If your goal is to get in better shape and lose some the large amount of extra fat that you have, why in the heck would you consider yourself sedentary or lightly active? WTF mi amigo? Get out there and be very active. Put in the work and you will reap the beni’s my man.

You gotta put in the work though. Good luck.

[quote]gregron wrote:
Ok buddy, I will try to help you out but there is quite a bit wrong with this whole scenario.

First of all, dropping 20 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t good. That is way too fast for weight loss. That sort of drop implies crash dieting and will leave you high and dry very soon.

Secondly, actually it goes along with point 1^^… Your calories are way to low. 2,400 calories for a 245-250 pound male? Way to low. What is your next step going to be when weigh loss stalls? Drop another 500 calories to 1,900? Then where do you go from there? You’re jn starvation mode before you know it. Cutting calories too drasticly too soon is “Bad Dieting 101” my friend. Slow and steady… Slow and steady.

Thirdly, yes of course you can still build muscle and put on strength while dropping bodyfat BUT not for very long at all with your current set up… Especially if you are a beginner. With your calorie level I would imagine that you’re going to stall out and get frustrated very soon.

If your goal is to get in better shape and lose some the large amount of extra fat that you have, why in the heck would you consider yourself sedentary or lightly active? WTF mi amigo? Get out there and be very active. Put in the work and you will reap the beni’s my man.

You gotta put in the work though. Good luck.[/quote]

thanks man this is some sound advice. maybe i should bump up to 2700 calories and start moving around some more. i really appreciate u to take the time and point some stuff out. its time for an adjustment

You’d be surprised at just moving around more helps.

The typical good process of going on a cut from a sedentary person is as follows (in my humble opinion):

  1. Clean up diet, which sounds like you have done. I suggest a balanced diet to at least start.

  2. Increase activity level. Start lifting 3-4x/week, for about 60-90 min per session, 1-2x/week HIIT type training for 10-15mins, and add as much walking or other general activity as you can fit in. Take the elevator? Walk the stairs instead. Park right out front? Park in the back of the parking lot. Wake up and go on a 30 minute morning walk on an empty stomach. This all adds up QUICKLY

Basically, commit to something you know you can maintain for 2-4 weeks and then add on at 2-4 week intervals until you get to the maximum values outlined above.

  1. Once you do that, you should start to lose weight. If not, cut 300-500 calories for 2-3 weeks and reassess.

  2. Repeat 2 & 3 as needed.

[quote]AbsuM- wrote:
I’m on a cut down. i weighed myself like 3 weeks ago and i was 265 and now I’m 245.[/quote]

How tall are you?

Clean up diet first. Don’t even worry about calories for the first few weeks. Do some basic cardio: go for a walk every day.

To answer your actual question: it’s possible to gain strength while cutting but not muscle. Strength can derive from larger area of muscle fibers, mechanical improvement, or central nervous system adaptation. Those latter two don’t necessarily depend on calories, while the first does. So, you can gain some strength while in a caloric deficit. But for your body to synthesize muscle will require an energy source from somewhere.

This is a blunt answer to some degree: some folks hold to the notion that properly timed nutrition paired with appropriate training can lead to periods of supercompensatory muscle synthesis alongside periods where body fat is used as an energy source. I’m skeptical, at least to the extent that a person can truly manage it.

First off, if you went from a high processed carb salt heavy diet to a cleaner diet, at 265, chances are most of the weight you lost was straight water weight. You might have trimmed a few lbs of fat, but not much. Your body needs fuel to build muscle, but if you are keeping the protein high without going too low on the calories, you have a couple hundred thousand calories of extra energy stored in your fat that can be used for some of that. Get active though, don’t cut calories too low, and target your carbs around your workouts, and always get some protein in you post workout.

I’ve been cutting since boxing day and through 1.5 531 cycles 3 of my predicted maxes have increased, despite losing 11lbs (203-192), at the same rate as before the cut with squats and deads in the 400s. I don’t believe it is possible to gain muscle mass while cutting but by losing the fat you look more muscular anyway.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]AbsuM- wrote:
I’m on a cut down. i weighed myself like 3 weeks ago and i was 265 and now I’m 245.[/quote]

How tall are you?
[/quote]

5’11

[quote]gregron wrote:
Ok buddy, I will try to help you out but there is quite a bit wrong with this whole scenario.

First of all, dropping 20 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t good. That is way too fast for weight loss. That sort of drop implies crash dieting and will leave you high and dry very soon.

Secondly, actually it goes along with point 1^^… Your calories are way to low. 2,400 calories for a 245-250 pound male? Way to low. What is your next step going to be when weigh loss stalls? Drop another 500 calories to 1,900? Then where do you go from there? You’re jn starvation mode before you know it. Cutting calories too drasticly too soon is “Bad Dieting 101” my friend. Slow and steady… Slow and steady.

Thirdly, yes of course you can still build muscle and put on strength while dropping bodyfat BUT not for very long at all with your current set up… Especially if you are a beginner. With your calorie level I would imagine that you’re going to stall out and get frustrated very soon.

If your goal is to get in better shape and lose some the large amount of extra fat that you have, why in the heck would you consider yourself sedentary or lightly active? WTF mi amigo? Get out there and be very active. Put in the work and you will reap the beni’s my man.

You gotta put in the work though. Good luck.[/quote]

I ask questions and respond on here to see where I am at with my knowledge base when it comes to this stuff.

My thinking was that as a beginner it would be easier to gain muscle while in a cut as opposed to an intermediate? Because of the beginner gains?

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]AbsuM- wrote:
I’m on a cut down. i weighed myself like 3 weeks ago and i was 265 and now I’m 245.[/quote]

How tall are you?
[/quote]

5’11

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]AbsuM- wrote:
I’m on a cut down. i weighed myself like 3 weeks ago and i was 265 and now I’m 245.[/quote]

How tall are you?
[/quote]

5’11

Slow and steady wins the race and consistency is everything. Let’s say goodbye to January and sadly the gym crowd that says they want change, some will say, “maybe next year” but let this be your year.

Consistency.

[quote]mbdix wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
Ok buddy, I will try to help you out but there is quite a bit wrong with this whole scenario.

First of all, dropping 20 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t good. That is way too fast for weight loss. That sort of drop implies crash dieting and will leave you high and dry very soon.

Secondly, actually it goes along with point 1^^… Your calories are way to low. 2,400 calories for a 245-250 pound male? Way to low. What is your next step going to be when weigh loss stalls? Drop another 500 calories to 1,900? Then where do you go from there? You’re jn starvation mode before you know it. Cutting calories too drasticly too soon is “Bad Dieting 101” my friend. Slow and steady… Slow and steady.

Thirdly, yes of course you can still build muscle and put on strength while dropping bodyfat BUT not for very long at all with your current set up… Especially if you are a beginner. With your calorie level I would imagine that you’re going to stall out and get frustrated very soon.

If your goal is to get in better shape and lose some the large amount of extra fat that you have, why in the heck would you consider yourself sedentary or lightly active? WTF mi amigo? Get out there and be very active. Put in the work and you will reap the beni’s my man.

You gotta put in the work though. Good luck.[/quote]

I ask questions and respond on here to see where I am at with my knowledge base when it comes to this stuff.

My thinking was that as a beginner it would be easier to gain muscle while in a cut as opposed to an intermediate? Because of the beginner gains? [/quote]
I totally agree but with his drastic weight loss already, coupled with his very low calories I don’t see it happening very long.

He’s not giving himself the building blocks he needs nutritionally to do a “recomp” or whatever you want to call it.

I agree that it’s much easier for a beginner but not a very likely scenario given his current outlined plan.

Probably, given you are beginner but it is all mental masturbation at this point anyway. What else can you do than training hard in the gym and eat properly to lose fat? Unless you want to self-sabotage your fat-loss effort by rationalizing that you miss out on massive muscle gains by dropping fat now. The latter bullshit rationalization is very common among delusional fatties/permabulkers. They typically throw around the dirty “recomping” word.

[quote]gregron wrote:
Ok buddy, I will try to help you out but there is quite a bit wrong with this whole scenario.

First of all, dropping 20 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t good. That is way too fast for weight loss. That sort of drop implies crash dieting and will leave you high and dry very soon.

Secondly, actually it goes along with point 1^^… Your calories are way to low. 2,400 calories for a 245-250 pound male? Way to low. What is your next step going to be when weigh loss stalls? Drop another 500 calories to 1,900? Then where do you go from there? You’re jn starvation mode before you know it. Cutting calories too drasticly too soon is “Bad Dieting 101” my friend. Slow and steady… Slow and steady.

Thirdly, yes of course you can still build muscle and put on strength while dropping bodyfat BUT not for very long at all with your current set up… Especially if you are a beginner. With your calorie level I would imagine that you’re going to stall out and get frustrated very soon.

If your goal is to get in better shape and lose some the large amount of extra fat that you have, why in the heck would you consider yourself sedentary or lightly active? WTF mi amigo? Get out there and be very active. Put in the work and you will reap the beni’s my man.

You gotta put in the work though. Good luck.[/quote]

How do you know if you’re in starvation mode? I have been cleaning up diet (cutting calories) for the past seven months and have lost about 30 pounds over that period (238 to 206). Still have fat around lower belly, however. I eat about 2000-2200 calories. I don’t eat many carbs and I believe this is my problem. There has been so much confusion/information about carbs and timing that my head is swirling. I’m 6’5" and 53, workout four days and HIIT at least once a week.

I would like to still lose some more fat around lower belly, but I need to put on some size now that I have lost most of the weight. Carbs and starvation mode seem to be a big problem for many.

[quote]gulfcoast wrote:
How do you know if you’re in starvation mode? I have been cleaning up diet (cutting calories) for the past seven months and have lost about 30 pounds over that period (238 to 206). Still have fat around lower belly, however. I eat about 2000-2200 calories. I don’t eat many carbs and I believe this is my problem. There has been so much confusion/information about carbs and timing that my head is swirling. I’m 6’5" and 53, workout four days and HIIT at least once a week.

I would like to still lose some more fat around lower belly, but I need to put on some size now that I have lost most of the weight. Carbs and starvation mode seem to be a big problem for many. [/quote]

Nice job on your weight loss.
The rule of thumb I have always used is:
20 calories per pound of bodyweight to bulk
15 calories per pound of bodyweight to maintain
10 calories per pound of bodyweight as an ABSOLUTE minimum

At our age maintaining one’s LBM is a challange; increasing it; even more so. IMO…it will be impossible at that calorie level. I have found that low carb protocols are great for maintenance and deficit programs, but very poor for building periods(regardless of age).

[quote]gregron wrote:
…with his drastic weight loss already, coupled with his very low calories I don’t see it happening very long.

He’s not giving himself the building blocks he needs nutritionally to do a “recomp” or whatever you want to call it.
[/quote]

I concur
The OP is 5’11" @ 245 lbs consuming 2400 calories per day w/a high BF%. IMO…a recomp is a long shot. Restore proper diet protocols, get the BF reduced to a reasonable point, begin building with proper traing and diet.

FWIW, I’ve cut from 255 to below 220 on 2450 calories (workout days) and 2200 calories (off days), so I don’t see why people think this is crazy low… I’ve probably averaged 1.75 lbs/week of loss.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
Probably, given you are beginner but it is all mental masturbation at this point anyway. What else can you do than training hard in the gym and eat properly to lose fat? Unless you want to self-sabotage your fat-loss effort by rationalizing that you miss out on massive muscle gains by dropping fat now. The latter bullshit rationalization is very common among delusional fatties/permabulkers. They typically throw around the dirty “recomping” word.
[/quote]

Jesus…because clearly no beginner could actually need to gain more muscle first to reach their overall goal.

Closed minded…and bold.