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Calorie Deficit and Building Muscle



Is It Possible To Build Muscle While Being On A Calorie Deficit

The of question calorie deficit divides the opinion of bodybuilders into two camps: those who say that it is an impossible mission and the ones who claim that with some manipulations is is quite real. I will present you the facts for both statements and in the final, you have the choice to decide what goes right for you. I made it for myself and I will let you know by the end of this post.

No Muscle Gains While Being on a Calorie Deficit:

No Muscle Gains while Being on a Calorie Deficit

Building muscle and losing fat are two different process that in most part happens apart of each other.To melt away extra weight has to be reduced the calorie intake and performed more cardio exercises. For packing on muscle mass you have to eat much more. Also, concentrate all your efforts on lifting weights to avoid calorie deficit.

MUST READ: 5 “Everyday” Weightlifting Mistakes That Keep People Small, Weak, and Frustrated

When cutting the calorie intake has not to exceed 2000 calorie a day, while during bulking phase the number of calories goes up to 3000-3500 per day. Going lower than 2000 calorie a day is a good way to lose weight. But expecting some muscle growth in this condition a is the vain illusion.

MUST READ: How Many Calories A Day To Eat To Build Muscle?

In order to grow muscles need nutrients. When cutting, the body is struggling to keep functional all other organs and also waste a big part of calories for energy. So, there is no more resources last for muscles. In worsen cases like starving things go even more complicated. Your body, due to calorie deficit, begins to eat muscles for keeping your body functional.

Why Lift Weights while Being on a Deficit:

Why Lift Weights while Being on a Deficit

The decision to continue or begin lifting weights while cutting is a smart one. First of all, if you are a beginner bodybuilder then you may experience some muscle gains but they will stop once you progress. These gains are called “newbie gains." Every new comer in the gym has this advantage in front of experienced bodybuilders regarding calorie deficit.

MUST READ: Dietary for Newbie Bodybuilders

Secondly, if you do not build muscle, you build some other body indicators. These are very important too- strength and coordination.

Third, you do not pack on some new muscle mass, but you definitely preserve what you have. Muscle are covered by fat. You may have good developed muscle but they are not visible under the fat layer. By lifting weights, you get rid of extra fat and let to sight muscle mass.

MUST READ: Lift Weights To Lose Weight

In the end, you got more defined muscle, but this doesn’t mean that they have grown while being on a calorie deficit. You just lose fat and get them more visible. Especially if you measure you muscle right after the workout you will notice a nice pumping effect.

Quite Difficult, But Still Possible to Gain Muscle Mass While Cutting:

Quite Difficult, but Still Possible to Gain Muscle Mass while Cutting

Well, to make this dream possible you have to meet some basic requirements such us:

-Have a high body percentage, which means you have to be significantly overweight. Body tend to eat muscle too while burning out fat. For an overweight people, adding some muscle mass will be possible while the body has less fat to maintain. On the other side, thin people has almost no chances to mix these two goals.

-Eat a lot of protein. Usually, you need 1 gr of protein per kg of body weight to keep your muscles grow. To do it while on a calorie deficit you will have to increase the dose to at least 1, 6 per kilogram. This means that you diet have to be filled with rich in protein  foods like meat, fish, eggs and even take in consideration some protein supplements.

Too much protein can damage your kidney, not to mention calorie deficit. So, be careful when taking protein powdered supplements, as you may do much harm tp your body than good.

-High intensity trainings. You need to work out in order to keep you body conscientious about the fact you need your muscles. In other case, it will tend to sacrifice the muscle instead of fat.  What kind of exercises? Well, compounds exercises which provides enough stress for muscles are the best choice.

-Reduce sources of stress. Being on  calorie deficit means that your body already experience a kind of stress. Adding to it some other sources like alcohol or drugs and you can forgive about any muscle gains and worry about losing what you already have. These bad habits affects your testosterone level which is directly responsible for building muscle.

So, for me, it was quite easy to answer this question. As i’m a thin person there are no chances to add some muscle mass while i’m trying to reduce the body fat percentage. But if your body percentage is over 35 than you can adventure to try.

If you are a bodybuilder, than it less probably to have such a high body fat percentage. Look on this picture to understand the body fat percentage:


So, chances are that for most of us to gain muscle mass while being on a calorie deficit is a hard task that not everyone could achieve. Avoid to have expectations, otherwise, you will end up disappointed with your results.

Must Read Our Article:: How Important Is Getting a Pump for Building Muscle?


Building muscle mass is what I like to talk about. If your aim is to build a solid body, then my posts would be very beneficial to you. I always want to know your opinion, so don't hesitate to drop a line below or contact me.

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