Ive been losing bodyfat for the last 6 weeks now, and I finally went back to straight bar bench last night. I realised although I have been getting stronger with dumbell bench, I am not a kitten with straight bar. Is this because I am losing weight? I have heard people talking about strength/bodyweight, mneaning that your able to lift more weight when you are gettin fatter, will this hold true in the reverse when you lose weight? or am I doing something wrong?
You get weaker because you also loose a bit of muscle when dieting. When you get “fatter” you dont just gain fat you also gain muscle so naturally you are stronger.
I have been slowly dieting down the last two months. And I have maintained or increased strength the whole time. I think the reason is because I train heavy with low reps and I have cut calories very slowly. So I think it’s possible to maintain or build strength while dieting if you do it right. If you stop lifting heavy, you will surely lose your strength. So try lifting heavy with low reps, and maybe that will make the difference.
if you’re hardcore dieting (as opposed to going slowly), it’s likely that you will lose some strenght. contrary to popular opinion, it’s not usually muscle loss (it’s hard to dump alot of muscle in 6 weeks or so). the reasons you are weaker are many fold but include central nervous inhibition (due to low cals and insufficient energy intake), decreased body water (there seems to be a link between body water and strength - i.e. creatine supplementation), and probably diminshed cellular metabolism and enzyme status (due to insufficient cals). Wanna test my theory. About 1 week after you go off the diet and are eating normally and put back on some weight, let us know how strong you feel. After 6 weeks of dieting and 20 lbs of wt loss, 1 week after eating normally again, Im back up to about 90% of where I started (I deadlifted 505 for 3 1 week after I finished my diet…that’s right about where I left off before my diet). So although I may have lost LBM on my diet, it couldnt have been mostly muscle since my strenght is back up in a week. The whole muscle loss/strength loss is a theory that is rampant in this business and is simply often not true.
As John M. sums up so succinctly: “The whole muscle loss/strength loss is a theory that is rampant in this business and is simply often not true.” And this is why people should be unafraid to try different dietary plans, different workout programs, to be open minded. Nothing works quickly, good or bad, so don’t be afraid.
What a great answer, I know you shouldnt be too caught up in gains and losses strength wise while changing your body composition, but it definately helps the transition and ego if you know you can get it all back:)
jmouland - it’s prolly because you have changed your routine back to straight bar and you have to get familiar with it again. i notice that everytime i switch off to another exercise for a while and come back to it later i am usually weaker. but i quickly regain my strength and surpass what i was doing prior if i did in fact get stronger. it’s kind of weird how this works. i mean you switch to another exercise (in your case dumbell bench press) and you progress in strength, so when you go back to the straight bar you expect to lift more than before. after all, you got stronger pressing the dumbells right? well, part of the dumbell progress might be neural adaption to the new exercise rather than an actual strength increase. there is however a certain amount of re-familiarizing you have to do when you switch back to the straight bar. if you are in fact getting stronger then you will notice that the general trend over a longer period in terms of strength will bear itself out. the bad thing is that you will have to ride the wave in for a while before you know for sure. kevo
JMB - it has always been my contention that the muscle “lost” when dieting really isn’t muscle persay, rather it is most likely a loss of muscle volume. as you pointed out and i too have experienced it is just a matter of refilling the muscle cells to their capacity. when i use my impedance fat monitor i can tell if i am volumized or not and whether or not i will have a good workout. some of my workout buddies say that it is only the placebo effect of measuring before my workout. but i tested myself with the monitor everyday for 18 months and kept very accurate daily logs of my training, diet, how i felt, etc. i noticed a trend that on days where i tested lower in bf and higher in lean mass i had better workouts (greater strength) and felt more volumized. i never would have thought this to be the case if it had not just popped out of the data and onto the graphs. it was quite an eyeopener.
I agree with John B. Consider, for example, Powerlifters on steroids dropping down in weight; muscle loss is minimized but, in general, significant strength will be lost.
I hate to be a proponent of the “other guys” supplements, but try cytodyne, you will be astonished at how much strength you save…at leats it worked for me
don’t most PLers take anavar or Halo or Tren something when cutting, to maintain strength?
Well of course you are going to lose some mucslce mass on a diet. Odds are, if you cut down on your normal eating routine, you aren’t giving your body the ammount of nutrients that it needs to maintain muscle while being overweight. When being overweight, you intake more nutrients so your body uses those extra nutrients to build up energy stores like muscle and fat. Another reason fatter people are probably a bit stronger is because they carry a lot of fat: plain and simple. Think of it like this. Say you are at your ideal weight but you wore maybe 20 pounds of extra gear on your body for a month. Well of course you’d get stronger because your body has to lift that so to make it easier, it makes your muscles grow with proper diet. However, I wouldn’t be so concerned about this. I personally think the ratio of fat vs. muscle loss on a diet is well worth it. Once you finish your diet, you should regain a good portion of the strength you originally had depending on how much weight you lost. If you want to offset strength loss, just eat the same ammount you’d normally eat when you were overweight and exercise it off in the areas you’d like your muscles to grow in.
Around February, I started a staright keto low calorie diet like the one Bock described. I had been doing sets of 6-8 on just about everything, but never went about 4 in my compound movements during the diet. A lot of singles, doubles and triples. I figured I didn’t need the extra volume when dieting and also doing cardio. My workout partner kept saying I was gonna go to shit with the cardio and should just opt for greater calorie expenditure from lifting. After about 7 weeks, I had gone from 265 to 240 and my bench had gone up from 330 to 365. My deadlift went from 405 to 485 (Though I account this to the fact that I only ever started deadlifting on January). Any muscle volume I did lose I was able to get back rather quickly with the greater loads I could handle when I went back to volume lifting. Three weeks out from the diet I was back to 250 looking better than I ever have. I think this is how I’m gonna cut from now on. I am now trying to get down to 230 before my first cycle in the fall.