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Real Muscle Loss Numbers

You read all the time about losing muscle mass during a cut but does anyone know of any research on real stats? Like a typical ratio, people usually say when you bulk it’s about 70-80% muscle the rest fat is it the opposite on the way down?

I’m also curious about speed of muscle loss, is this something that takes months of below maintenance calorie intake or are we talking days? If you do a 10 day restriction to clean up a bit is there really any chance of muscle loss in such a short time. I’ve been told your body won’t scavenge muscle in such a short period but I’d love to hear if anyone has any real research they could point to.

Thanks

[quote]mann77 wrote:
You read all the time about losing muscle mass during a cut but does anyone know of any research on real stats? Like a typical ratio, people usually say when you bulk it’s about 70-80% muscle the rest fat is it the opposite on the way down?

I’m also curious about speed of muscle loss, is this something that takes months of below maintenance calorie intake or are we talking days? If you do a 10 day restriction to clean up a bit is there really any chance of muscle loss in such a short time. I’ve been told your body won’t scavenge muscle in such a short period but I’d love to hear if anyone has any real research they could point to.

Thanks
[/quote]

The only thing you would lose in 10 days is mostly water weight which will come right back as soon as you increase calories again. The first week of a diet does not result in an overabundance of fat lost.

Beyond that, the average person loses equal portions of muscle and fat when they drop weight by dieting. Lifting weights changes this ratio, but the overall effect of how much muscle is lost (if any at all) is based on food intake, whether you continue to lift heavy and whether you have the genetics to do all of this with a favorable outcome.

Where did this figure come from?

I’ve always assumed that the only lean mass you lose during a cut is in the form of water and other fluids, glycogen etc (as long as you do some things correctly like having refeed days, cheat days, switch up cardio, don;t drop too low in calories…etc) which will obviously result in loss of size, which will be regained as long as the fascia stay stretched till you raise calories again.

Also for someone who has been training for a long time and has a very high level of size and strength, I think switching programs frequently while cutting would be a good option, since strength loss at a high level is inevitable.
A fat guy dieting and lifting for the first time will gaina ton of strength, maybe a small amount of muscle while losing fat. For someone who’s benching 4 plates for reps, he probably has to expect a steep drop in strength at some point.

JMO.

[quote]mann77 wrote:
Like a typical ratio, people usually say when you bulk it’s about 70-80% muscle the rest fat is it the opposite on the way down?
[/quote]

I got that figure from a couple of articles on bodybuilding.com. Is was discussing how high to set your calorie intake when bulking. Said generally for every 8lbs of muscle added you gain about 2-3lbs of fat. It didn’t sight any research though.

PX thanks for your input, I was shocked by the 50/50 ratio on fat/muscle loss during diet. Although I get what your saying about lifting while cutting changing the ratio.

My main reason for asking is because once a year my wife and I do the “master cleanse” and I wanted to get others opinions on muscle loss from the 10 day calorie restriction. In the past I’ve never noticed much of a difference in strength afterwards, I just tend to change up from the 4x8 to a 3x15 at lower weights during the cleanse to keep my lifting up.

It’s not so much for weightloss as general health.

Thanks

???

I don’t know how the heck they came up with those percentages, but one of the most important things you can do is to learn your body.

Everybody is different with different genetics, etc. They are on different diets, different lifting regimens, train with different intensity levels, etc.

There are so many variables in bodybuilding/weightlifting that it is hard to follow these type of figures. Also, remember that weight gain/loss is linear, it comes in spurts. It is really only safe to follow guidelines.

Keeping all of this in mind, I will once again advise you to learn your body and how it responds to different types of tweaks and stimulus. Only you can figure out the answer to your question.