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  • strength increase on a deficit?

    so i believe im currently on a calorie deficit, first time really trying to lower the fat % and was expecting my lifts to either stay the same or slightly decrease, yet things seem to be going up. and havent really noticed a drop in energy.

    my weight is going down, gradually, and my lifts are going up, albeit even more gradually, but still, theres gains.

    is this a good sign?
    i think im just suprised at how little im eating yet still seem to be getting slowly stronger.

  • #2
    I just spent the last 12 weeks dropping fat, and I'd say my weights increased continually for the first...9 weeks of it or so.

    Wasn't till the very end when I was on a very very small number of kcal that my weights hit the shitter.

    PS- I'm now gaining again, and have only had extra calories for about a week, and the weights are already soaring again.

    Amazing what effects food has on our bodies!

    Just stay in the mental game. Especially with DC. Let your BRAIN get the work done, when the kcal aren't there. That's what's gonna keep that hard-earned muscle on when the calories aren't around to back it up.
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    • #3
      Echo darkguitars. I actually hit a bunch of PRs during my first cut...but you will eventually hit a point where you are just weak as shit, depending on how far you take it.

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      • #4
        It really depends on how extreme you get with your food intake, and cardio. Nothing will wipe you out faster than low cals with a shitload of cardio. Be smart about it, and if things are progressing, don't change a thing.....
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        • #5
          I was smashing PR's all through last prep up until the last month or so.

          IMO, if you're NOT aiming for strength increases ALL the time, dieting included, you're doing it wrong.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lock it Up View Post
            I was smashing PR's all through last prep up until the last month or so.

            IMO, if you're NOT aiming for strength increases ALL the time, dieting included, you're doing it wrong.
            I'm not 100% sold on this, especially as a guy gets a bit older....Maybe going for more reps than usual, different training intensity techniques, etc.

            I agree, that they key to getting much larger is to get much stronger, but I'm not sold on the fact that strength progression is the ONLY thing from training that facilitates growth, or that allows you to hold onto muscle while dieting....

            With all the different training intensity techniques out there, I truly believe that although strength increases are the best for a beginning/novice trainer, as one gets more advanced, there may be better ways to stimulate the muscle, all while doing it in a manner that may be more safe and keep one injury free....

            This being said, I still train for strength as well, even though I am old....Fuck injuries, I need to inflate my ego....lol
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            • #7
              One of my best friends was part of one of Skip's experiements (the protein powder one), which put him in a caloric deficit and he dropped a good amount of body fat while continuing to gain strength.

              This is just me speculating here, but I think that with proper timing of your nutrients you can continue to make progress (defined within your own goals of strength or size), albeit very gradually, as long as you follow your diet consistently and follow a training program the coincides well with your diet.

              How much do you all feel that nutrient timing has to do with being able to build strength or size while in a deficit?
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              • #8
                Originally posted by steel1970 View Post
                I'm not 100% sold on this, especially as a guy gets a bit older....Maybe going for more reps than usual, different training intensity techniques, etc.

                I agree, that they key to getting much larger is to get much stronger, but I'm not sold on the fact that strength progression is the ONLY thing from training that facilitates growth, or that allows you to hold onto muscle while dieting....

                With all the different training intensity techniques out there, I truly believe that although strength increases are the best for a beginning/novice trainer, as one gets more advanced, there may be better ways to stimulate the muscle, all while doing it in a manner that may be more safe and keep one injury free....

                This being said, I still train for strength as well, even though I am old....Fuck injuries, I need to inflate my ego....lol
                I just mean, if you're dieting, and you could do 315 on the bench for 10 reps a month ago, you damn well better be able to do that now if you aren't about to step onto a stage.

                No reason to not get stronger while dieting. Or at the very minimum not lose strength. IMO, if you are losing strength in the gym while dieting, you need to adjust your nutrition or cardio plan or both.

                2012 EUP's Mission Submission II
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                2012 Hayastan Grappling Challenge New York
                -1st Heavyweight Gi
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                Help me, help you! To get a great discount from TrueNutrition just type in MCS722 in the code box when you check out!


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                • #9
                  Yeah man, keep goin'...

                  Maybe you were just eating a lot of shit before that made you sluggish and now you're eating more nutritious foods you've got more energy.

                  Maybe since now you're supposedly eating cleaner foods you are more strict with actually getting meals in on time as opposed to when you eat more shit foods you'd be more satiated and miss a meal here, miss a meal there resulting in a drop off in energy levels.

                  Maybe you are experiencing higher strength and energy levels because of you foregoing all the digesting (and as a corollary, all the energy being expended) by eating less calorie-dense foods.

                  Maybe it's Maybeline.
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                  • #10
                    I also just wanted to throw this in the ring here.

                    This is my own little hypothesis, just an opinion form my own knowledge and experiences...

                    Now, if you know your human physiology, you know that the body is a VERY homeostatic machine. It likes its set points. Most of the mechanisms in the body are negative feedback loops (think like a thermostat. your house cools down, but it's set at a higher degree, so the furnace kicks on to bring that back up...that's how the body works on many, many, mechanisms) save a few like child birth, which is a positive feedback loop.

                    So, the body likes to be "at" a certain point. This is why I feel it is so hard for naturally skinny people to put on weight, and naturally larger people to keep off excess body fat.

                    Now, if you are eating a certain way for A LONG period of time, like a contest diet let's say. You are probably LIMITING severley the TYPES of foods you eat. I know myself, I will eat the same thing day in day out. Ever see the "6 foods that work" video from the Raising the Bar DVD series? Dave Pulcinella says he believes there are only 6 foods that work for him to get lean and be muscular: eggs, tuna, bananas, sweet potatoes/brown rice, chicken breast, and oats.

                    Now, that above is a very limited set of nutritional components (of course there are other things to consider like supplements). My view is the following:

                    If you are engaging in intense weight training and a cardiovascular training regimen designed to make your body into the LEANEST and most musclular individual possible, then your body will "recognize" this is your goal after a while. So, what does that mean? Basically, your body is gonna do it's best to keep up with the stimulus and become stronger to accompany it.

                    Now what does it have to do with limiting your foods? IMO, the body, again as a homeostatic machine, wants to be at a set point. If you can manipulate your metabolic set point to constantly be increasing protein syntehesis, and causing repair mechanism to be put in place (from tearing down tissue through training) you can really will your body to be what it wants to be. How? By limiting your food choices. If the body can get used to only being "allowed" certain things..IMO, it will become VERY VERY efficient at making use of everything you give it.

                    EXAMPLE: You only eat those six foods listed above. The body will kinda "say to itself " "Well, shit he's putting 500lbs on his back again today, we know the fuel were getting to get this job done, let's get to it boys" and it will take everything you give it and try to put it to the best use possible.

                    This means that if you can limit your protein source to a few things, your body will become more efficient at utilizing said protein. It's actually "kinda" been proven that your internal digestive enzymes will "change" according to your diet...this is why if you don't eat dairy for a long period of time, then go and pound some ice cream you get a really upset stomach...your gut no longer has much of the enzyme needed to breakdown lactose and therefore - you get sick.
                    '
                    So, what I am really trying to say is this: MAKE YOUR BODY UTILIZE EVERYTHING YOU'RE GIVING IT BECAUSE YOU GIVE IT NO OTHER OPTIONS.

                    It's darwinism at it's very principle-survival of the fittest. Make your body fit to do the work you want ot place on it, and it WILL respond the way you want it to. Yes, genetic blueprint plays a factor, BUT IMO a more limiting diet with of course the right components of macro/micro nutrients will have a much better effect of getting you your desired result than eating a wide variety of foods.

                    It's kinda like your body will become so damn good at processing egg whites that, now, egg whites are gonna be a lot better for you to consume more often then other protein sources.





                    That is just my theory from anecdotal evidence and some education in the field. I am not saying if anyone disagrees with me they are wrong. BUT, I FEEL that when dieting, the body is actually primed for growth more than any other time...especially if you take yourself down to a drastically low bodyfat.

                    People forget that adipose is a very metabolically active tissue like muscle...the less fat you have the less nutrients are gonna be diverged to fuel your fat stores... and the more are gonna be put forth into repair mechanism in skeletal muscle, and even as important NEUROTRANSMITTER repair...that is why sleep is so important. When people speak of overtraining, they mistakenly associate it with muscle...no. It's the CNS that takes the beating...the CNS is the meistro to your symphony of muscle...take care of it. Give it breaks and recuperation periods.

                    I'll be more clear if anyone gives a shit to my theory, but I just typed that out all in one shot off the top of my head so if it doesn't make sense or I need to elaborate I will, but I truly feel like if you treat your body like a homeostatic machine, you can make it work for you no matter what the circumstance...

                    Darwinism at it's very core
                    Last edited by Lock it Up; 02-15-2012, 03:24 PM.

                    2012 EUP's Mission Submission II
                    -1st SuperHeavy Gi
                    2012 Hayastan Grappling Challenge New York
                    -1st Heavyweight Gi
                    2011 Slippery Rock Open Collegiate Championships, 4th-Open Heavyweight, 220lbs
                    2008 NGA Pittsburgh Bodybuilding Championships, 2nd-Open Juniors, 175lbs




                    Help me, help you! To get a great discount from TrueNutrition just type in MCS722 in the code box when you check out!


                    New pursuit: competitive grappling, and enjoying my life

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                    • #11
                      ^^ Interesting to say the least, Lock.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lock it Up View Post
                        I just mean, if you're dieting, and you could do 315 on the bench for 10 reps a month ago, you damn well better be able to do that now if you aren't about to step onto a stage.

                        No reason to not get stronger while dieting. Or at the very minimum not lose strength. IMO, if you are losing strength in the gym while dieting, you need to adjust your nutrition or cardio plan or both.
                        Ok, I gotcha. Just stirring a bit of debate is all...
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                        • #13
                          Lock, I once read a study (like 15yrs ago) by the AIS that said you can measure a huge increase in chemical change in the body, blood flow to muscles etc from conducting strenuous activities.

                          The interesting part is that after a period of adaption you could get almost the same response from an associated movement. In the case of the test it was weightlifters so they just got the weightlifters to grab a bar, not lift it or anything, just grab it hard. It caused increase blood flow etc almost to the same point as lifting weights. Obviously there was no cell damage though.

                          It showed an adaptive responce that the body does recognise stimulis and act in a pre-emptive manner.
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                          • #14
                            Lock,

                            Would you submit that maybe it's not these actual foods, (I know that was just an example), but instead, foods with similar protein make-ups? (Amino profiles). I've never actually looked into it that much, but surely mostly the animal sources that we all use have similar amino profiles, and thus are recognized as the "same" by the body.

                            In this way, I'm submitting also what Roy said above, in conjunction with your thoughts...maybe the body not only recognizes these foods to help over time, but maybe it does the same thing with shitty foods, (only in a direction we don't wanna go in).

                            Maybe that's what it seems that people can grow well (I've noticed a difference already) off of somewhat "small" amounts of really clean foods.
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                            • #15
                              I've eaten chicken breasts, rice, oats, and protein powder for months on end and have noticed no difference than if I had another 3-4 protein sources and endless carb sources....not saying that the logic is flawed, I just think that once you get to a certain state in your diet, your body is such a furnace that WHATEVER you eat is gonna be used ultra efficiently....Especially in a prep or extreme diet. If your calories are low enough, and you are at a state of depletion that is so far out of the norm, doesn't it stand to reason that your body just takes every bit of what food you put in it and maximize it's potential, simply due to fight or flight, or anti starvation mode? Especially while dieting and with such low bodyfat, that a person is literally just turning food over, just barely hitting his requirements and on walking the fine line of not eating enough....I believe this is what causes your body to be so efficient, not that you've eaten 6 chicken breasts a day for 100 days straight....I personally don't think that your body has much of a preference to what it gets as far as food from different sources. You give it the food, it responds. That is one reason why Skiploading and shitloading work so well. You deplete, then you OVER replenish. It's just the body doing what comes natural to it. Just my take on it, probably totally wrong....lol
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