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View Full Version : Could you effectively grow muscle without being in a caloric surplus?



Google26
12-17-2014, 07:47 PM
I always hit my protein macro, but I do not count my carb or fat macros. I am confident that I am not in a caloric surplus. With that being said, can you still grow muscle effectively without a caloric surplus?

Plateauplower
12-17-2014, 08:04 PM
If your untrained yes. If your intermediate or better it's not likely although you may still get stronger. It doesn't take very much of a surplus to add lean mass though.

SuperZar
12-17-2014, 08:16 PM
If your untrained yes. If your intermediate or better it's not likely although you may still get stronger. It doesn't take very much of a surplus to add lean mass though.

From my experience also possible if you're overweight.

angrypenguin54
12-17-2014, 08:55 PM
Agreed that if you are in the 20% bf range you can probably build muscle as long as you hit your proteins and fats.

Plateauplower
12-18-2014, 04:16 AM
The individuals training history is more important. A 260lb elite power-lifter with 22% body fat probably isn't going to add much size on a deficit. The average joe who is overweight possibly, but they are also likely to be untrained. I went from an out of shape and untrained 246 to about 215lbs in a deficit this year and was gaining strength and size until I got to about 20% then I needed to increase calories slightly to continue to progress. Ymmv.

Brackneyc
12-18-2014, 04:17 AM
Possibly? Yes. Effectively? Not as likely.

LeeJayUK
12-18-2014, 05:06 AM
I always hit my protein macro, but I do not count my carb or fat macros. I am confident that I am not in a caloric surplus. With that being said, can you still grow muscle effectively without a caloric surplus?

I would have always said no for the past 20yrs, however this past year I have reduced my calories slightly below maintenance, hit a macro breakdown of 40c/30p/30f, and train everyday using calisthenics which is mostly high reps, and never train to failure, but lots of volume - dips, pullups, squats etc.

I have dropped around 8kg over the past year, but I have made great progress in building lean muscle.

The increased energy levels, functional strength, and general feeling of being in the best of my life will prevent any thoughts of future bulking. But then I am not trying to win any competitions.

EjnarKolinkar
12-18-2014, 06:32 AM
Train, eat to a target for your goal. Most muscle gain while dieting or at maintence is short lived, or optomism on the dieters self body comp analysis.

Untrained or detrained people always get a boost in FFM from starting training. Doesn't mean that will last, at some point you need the raw materials to grow.

Edman316
12-18-2014, 06:41 AM
It's not easy due to lower energy levels from reduced calories but it can be done.

You break down muscle cells and cells repair themselves. Rinse and repeat.

ironwill2008
12-18-2014, 07:21 AM
I always hit my protein macro, but I do not count my carb or fat macros. I am confident that I am not in a caloric surplus. With that being said,




...........can you still grow muscle effectively without a caloric surplus?

You might be successful at this, for a while, if you're an obese beginner with no prior weight training experience. For anyone else who doesn't qualify in this manner, you're just chasing your own tail.




If you're actually serious about building mass/strength, you'll stop guessing at how much you're eating, and start weighing/measuring/tracking your food portions, and make certain to eat adequate gram-amounts of protein and fat.

LeeJayUK
12-19-2014, 04:37 AM
If you're actually serious about building mass/strength, you'll stop guessing at how much you're eating, and start weighing/measuring/tracking your food portions, and make certain to eat adequate gram-amounts of protein and fat.

This.

JerryB
12-20-2014, 10:37 AM
I always hit my protein macro, but I do not count my carb or fat macros. I am confident that I am not in a caloric surplus. With that being said, can you still grow muscle effectively without a caloric surplus?

For a beginner to a point. But in the long run no.

stevez39
12-20-2014, 11:01 AM
To a point you will gain muscle, then plateau without increasing dietary needs.