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  1. #1
    Registered User yerbamate's Avatar
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    Question Build muscle on maintenance

    Can you build muscle and increase your lifts by eating maintenance or does your calorie intake have to be above maintenance in order to add lean body mass?

    Reps for any responses

    Thanks
    Yerba
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  2. #2
    Banned Captain Sagara's Avatar
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    I think it's much more complex then you eat more you gain muscle or gain fat or whatever,and if you're on a deficit the opposite happens,i don't buy into that at all,i think it's not so much a matter of calories,it's very importante of course have a estimated number of calories daily,but i think as i said no matter the calories,what you eat and the times you eat,and your supplements and your work ethic is what gonna make you or break you,it's what gonna make you progress,you can be on a deficit but if things are done correctly you still can create an even bigger balance between lean body mass over bodyfat...Just my 2 cents,i can be and probably are horribly wrong,but for me it's not much about calories,i pay more attention to my daily protein intake,my daily carbs and my daily fats...

    Of course you're probably are slowing your progress,but still i think it's possible to have progress...
    Last edited by SickBoy_Cage; 06-21-2007 at 10:13 AM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User aguy fish's Avatar
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    I agree. Actually over the years i've dropped my calories off season by almost 800 ( less ) and I still gain a lot but less fat! I don't believe maintenance is enough though and when you start dieting for a show it's too low to start with and You'll have to drop your calories too much. I only eat 1000 calories above maintenace and I used to be 2000 calories above before !
    But you have to find a compromize. i use to only go by high valories before and I was a lot fatter in the off season. Now i stay leaner, it's easier to diet, I get more ripped and still gain muscles and improve. Again, That's MY experience.
    Sickboy is right, the most important is the connection between your training, diet, supplement and REST ( I neglected this for too many years !) as well. I personally think training really makes THE difference, It did for me since i think i've found the best kind of training and training periodization for me.... but it took me the past 13 years lol
    Make sure you get the right nutrients. i hope it helps.
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  4. #4
    Registered User TCannon's Avatar
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    I agree with sickboy a 100%. As thinking bodybuilders I think we have a huge advantage over those who jump in head first and dont have a plan or a idea as to all the optimal means to go about nutrition, training and recovery. But on the same note sometimes I feel that we over think somthing that is by nature fairly easy to do, Lift weights eat food get big. Now I do know its more complicated then that but essentially that is what it is. Many people will say things like "you cant grow on a deficit" or "you cant build muscle and lose fat at the same time", but I have seen people do just that time and time agin. Ive always been able to build muscle even in the greatest of calorie deficits, It just all has to do with how you time the nutrients and the quality of the foods and supplements you utilize to get there. Also I think if you want it bad enough sheer will power is greatly underestimated. The power of a strong desire to push the heaviest weights and overload muscle fiber as much as possible is a potent ally in building muslce, carbs or no carbs deficit or no deficit. When I was deployed to iraq I trained with alot of guys with average and even sub par genetics who didnt get the proper rest or nutrition for optimal growth, but after consistenly pushing there bodys to the limits day in and day out, they managed to make great progress even while taking almost no cals due to running convoys and getting to the next base to late. Im currently in about a 1000 cal deficit and have been there for a while now, but have made consistent gains regardless, I think the trick is when you go to he gym you have to forget about that aspect of bodybuilding and almost become totally ignorant of the fact that you are not in a fed state.
    If this s**t was easy everyone would do it.
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  5. #5
    Registered User firecracker3's Avatar
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    Oh this has helped me to -- I basically am trying to figure out a way to build my arms a little more while staying relatively lean -- I don't want to overeat to add size, I'd rather take longer and supplement with creatine....guess I have to start researching THAT now lol.
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  6. #6
    Team Aggressive dvsness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by firecracker3 View Post
    Oh this has helped me to -- I basically am trying to figure out a way to build my arms a little more while staying relatively lean -- I don't want to overeat to add size, I'd rather take longer and supplement with creatine....guess I have to start researching THAT now lol.
    I had a similar issue with my delts last year. I carb cycled on a bulk and made sure that my high carb days were on my lagging parts, which let me concentrate on adding to my weaknesses without too much fat gain.
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  7. #7
    Registered User firecracker3's Avatar
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    Awesome advice dvsness! I never thought of that -- this will allow me some variety in my diet (you know us gals love our carbs -- clean of course) and at the same time not gaining too much. Marvelous!
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  8. #8
    Banned Captain Sagara's Avatar
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    It's a good strategy indeed...
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  9. #9
    Registered User kazman32's Avatar
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    It can be done, I have done it too, juice helps I won;t lie, but I am training a kid who is clean and he has gained a couple pounds of muscle while dropping his bf%. I think quality of food is the most important plenty of protien and efa;s give's the body what it needs.
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  10. #10
    PNBA Pro Bodybuilder Quelly's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kazman32 View Post
    It can be done, I have done it too, juice helps I won;t lie, but I am training a kid who is clean and he has gained a couple pounds of muscle while dropping his bf%. I think quality of food is the most important plenty of protien and efa;s give's the body what it needs.

    its definitely possible, and it does make sense if you think about, if there is enough nutrients in your system to repair and build muscle, and you are in a caloric deficit, your body can build muscle and use bodyfat to make up the difference in energy balance....its certainly not as efficient as bulking in a surplus, but it is a sure fire way to stay lean...but sadly not everybody has the genetics for it.
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  11. #11
    CSCS, CPT, WNBF Pro Cytrainer913's Avatar
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    it's about macros here

    Originally Posted by Quelly View Post
    its definitely possible, and it does make sense if you think about, if there is enough nutrients in your system to repair and build muscle, and you are in a caloric deficit, your body can build muscle and use bodyfat to make up the difference in energy balance....its certainly not as efficient as bulking in a surplus, but it is a sure fire way to stay lean...but sadly not everybody has the genetics for it.
    I feel these gains here are more from readjusting his P/C/F or macros more than eating in a deficit, yes maybe less than what he was, but eating cleaner but maybe just above maintenance. When you get quality macros, the body just has better things to work with than just maintenance cals of bad foods, another reason, why I don't think it's just about calories here.

    I just feel that the odds are very slim to none to gain muscle while being natural and in a deficit of cals for your body.
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