T Nation

Regaining Muscle?

Basically, I’ve been lifting (consistently) for a year and I got them newbie gains and stuff… The problem is I can’t get rid of the stubborn belly fat, so 2 months ago I got a little too excited and cut extremely incorrectly (wasn’t even eating sufficient amounts of protein) and in two weeks I lost like 3-4 pounds… I stopped immediately and started eating in a surplus again, cuz I was surely burning muscle. After a month or so, I got my weight back, but my lower muscles (the glutes, not the legs) still look soft and flabby, so I can tell I lost muscle…

My lifts haven’t gone down, I’m drinking protein shakes and eating pretty decent - my question is: does it take as long as it originally took to regain my muscle size or is it easier the second time around(It’s been almost 2 months since eating and training properly)?

I don’t want my muscles to look like I haven’t lifted a weight in my life and there I am, squatting 150lbs! I’m really pissed and depressed, I’ve hindered my progress big time :frowning:

Hey buddy,

Welcome to T-Nation. We go hard.
Sounds like you are trying to rush your results. How long have you been training for? What routine are you on? What are your goals?
And what exactly did you eat yesterday??

I won’t be able to help more until you answer these questions, although I will say that the lifting game is a slow and steady game. Make sure your consistent with your lifting, eating and sleeping. Your not going to turn into the Hulk over night.

tweet

I’m not trying to rush my results, I just wanna know if it’ll take as long as it took to get my muscle back… I lift heavy 4 days a week, but train 6 days and 1 day is rest.

[quote]hellahardgainer wrote:
I’m not trying to rush my results, I just wanna know if it’ll take as long as it took to get my muscle back… I lift heavy 4 days a week, but train 6 days and 1 day is rest.[/quote]

I think the best answer is that every human physique is unique, so no one can provide you with a certain answer of how your body is going to respond to LBM gains as compared to returning from one or more previous layoffs, aside from perhaps what they experienced, hence your mileage may vary.

However, I was pretty active lifting in my early to mid-20s after dropping a lot of fat mass and starting a healthier exercise regiment that incorporated both weight training and cardio. I started grad school, gained about 30 lbs and went soft, basically being away from the iron for 5+ years and falling into the trap of being sedentary, stressed, and letting fitness come last. I came back to reality in late 2012 after some disturbing blood work, so I have been consistently lifting and eating well for almost 1.5 yrs, and in my own personal experience, the gains this time have come back much slower. However, I am now approaching my mid-30s, so take that into account.

I use very little in the way of supplementation, save for BCAAs and protein powder; back then I was using TRIBEX, Alpha Male, ZMA, MAG-10 and Surge. However, I know a few others who have walked away from the iron for awhile and came back, usually 1+ years later; anecdotally speaking, it often seems that gains are slower if your body has aged a few years, but you’ll just have to see for yourself, have patience and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Even if it does take longer, it’s worth the blood, sweat and tears to keep yourself prime.

But I haven’T taken days off training… just I screwed my diet a bit…

You “dieted” for 2 weeks. Nothing to worry about. The body is adaptable.

Your ass is flabby because it is flabby. Nothing to do with what happened two months ago.

Questions were asked for a reason. Age, program, height, weight…

you squat 150? That is your gain in a year? or after your two weeks diet? What were you squatting before?

Better the info better the answer

No, it wasn’t flabby before, it was muscular and round , so bear with me.

I used to be very skinny, and i mean VERY skinny - so I started weightlifting about a year ago and apparently had no idea what I was doing (training, nutrition) but somehow I was getting results I was satisfied with. I thought I had enough muscle to go on a cut (which I probably did), but my cut was desperate (obviously still having NO idea what I was doing) so I ended up skinny again (well, not really but still lost half my gains… I can tell cuz all my jeans are loose and I don’t look as good) Over a year, yes, I managed to get to 150lbs squatting (using machines i go up to 220 but thats not the point) and I bust my ass off to get to 53 kg, previously weighing only 46. Personally I think I could’ve done much more because I probably wasn’t eating big, but yeah. So, you understand my despair - I’ve gained the weight back it’s 53 fluctuating to 54 even, but the size of my muscle is nowhere as close as it was! Why is this?

I’m lifting heavy in the gym tho, and I was actually lifting very heavy during ‘the cut’ as well - no strength loss. I though it would preserve muscle, little did I know, it just burned more calories. Squatting 150, deadlifting 150 as well (free weight), bench-press is a little bit weaker , but it’s fine considering I’m a girl, 20, 1.60 :slight_smile:

If it’s glycogen depletion or if it was water loss, shouldn’t I have gotten it back by now? It’s been almost 2 months that I’m eating normally. It’s safe to assume it’s muscle then? :frowning:

See Bret Contreras’ article about fixing your glutes.

IMO your first port of call is to get your head around macro nutrients (ie protein, carbs, fat) and start tracking them accurately and consistently … unless you have some sort of measure of the food you’re taking in, you’re just guessing (and wasting your own time) …

Get a training diary going.
Track everything you Lift including rest periods
Mark Cavendish Lost the World Professional road race in 2010 and had this to say " It takes Balls to rest, and I didnt have the Balls"

Track everything you Eat and when you eat.
Track your sleeping patterns
Think about your Breathing and Form when lifting.
Think about your thoughts !

Keep this going for 3 or more months and then look for the patterns that will surely appear.
Those that go slow in this sport suffer the least amount of injuries and have the longest lifespans.

Most here will give advice to those that follow it without argument as they have lived it.
We where all newbies at one time.

dont push your body
if it takes time then it takes time
for it to develop and itself to your workouts
dont push it, be aware of how much you challenge your body
think about your exercises as develop and not taking it to the edge

[quote]hellahardgainer wrote:
Basically, I’ve been lifting (consistently) for a year and I got them newbie gains and stuff… The problem is I can’t get rid of the stubborn belly fat, so 2 months ago I got a little too excited and cut extremely incorrectly (wasn’t even eating sufficient amounts of protein) and in two weeks I lost like 3-4 pounds… I stopped immediately and started eating in a surplus again, cuz I was surely burning muscle. After a month or so, I got my weight back, but my lower muscles (the glutes, not the legs) still look soft and flabby, so I can tell I lost muscle…

My lifts haven’t gone down, I’m drinking protein shakes and eating pretty decent - my question is: does it take as long as it originally took to regain my muscle size or is it easier the second time around(It’s been almost 2 months since eating and training properly)?

I don’t want my muscles to look like I haven’t lifted a weight in my life and there I am, squatting 150lbs! I’m really pissed and depressed, I’ve hindered my progress big time :([/quote]

I can assure you that 2 weeks of a shite crash diet did not make you lose much if any muscle gains. At worse you dehydrated a bit and perhaps loss glycoge but actual muscle mass, next to nill.

Your are soft and flabby because your soft and flabby (ok, most likely you have fat on you that is significant enough to make your glutes soft and flabby).

What’s your bf %? If it’s over 15%, I say diet properly down to about 13% and eat at maintenance to build some lean mass or if you’re at 15%, same thing, eat at maintenance to build some lean mass. This is all kind of arbitrary but my personal preference is not to go over 15%, 13% if I can help it, helps with getting rid of the fat easier later on. If you are not at 13% yet, you can eat at surplus until you hit 13-15%.

Lastly, you need to learn proper nutrition first and foremost and most likely learn how to properly train as well.

[quote]kissdadookie wrote:

[quote]hellahardgainer wrote:
Basically, I’ve been lifting (consistently) for a year and I got them newbie gains and stuff… The problem is I can’t get rid of the stubborn belly fat, so 2 months ago I got a little too excited and cut extremely incorrectly (wasn’t even eating sufficient amounts of protein) and in two weeks I lost like 3-4 pounds… I stopped immediately and started eating in a surplus again, cuz I was surely burning muscle. After a month or so, I got my weight back, but my lower muscles (the glutes, not the legs) still look soft and flabby, so I can tell I lost muscle…

My lifts haven’t gone down, I’m drinking protein shakes and eating pretty decent - my question is: does it take as long as it originally took to regain my muscle size or is it easier the second time around(It’s been almost 2 months since eating and training properly)?

I don’t want my muscles to look like I haven’t lifted a weight in my life and there I am, squatting 150lbs! I’m really pissed and depressed, I’ve hindered my progress big time :([/quote]

I can assure you that 2 weeks of a shite crash diet did not make you lose much if any muscle gains. At worse you dehydrated a bit and perhaps loss glycoge but actual muscle mass, next to nill.

Your are soft and flabby because your soft and flabby (ok, most likely you have fat on you that is significant enough to make your glutes soft and flabby).

What’s your bf %? If it’s over 15%, I say diet properly down to about 13% and eat at maintenance to build some lean mass or if you’re at 15%, same thing, eat at maintenance to build some lean mass. This is all kind of arbitrary but my personal preference is not to go over 15%, 13% if I can help it, helps with getting rid of the fat easier later on. If you are not at 13% yet, you can eat at surplus until you hit 13-15%.

Lastly, you need to learn proper nutrition first and foremost and most likely learn how to properly train as well. [/quote]

no. I have no fat whatsoever. I’m an ectomorph, so it’s extremely hard for me to gain actual fat anywhere on my body; never had it - the only place I do have fat on is my belly (but I also have digestive issues, bloating, so yeah)

My anecdotal experience is that lost muscle can be regained relatively quickly, or at least faster than adding new muscle. Results may vary though, and I’d be interesting in hearing other people’s thoughts on this.