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    MPLANE37   64,825
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Building muscle?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Recently I have been tossing around a question in my mind. Should I really be building muscle, which requires a caloric surplus, which would eventually cause a fat gain? Or should I continue to eat at a caloric deficiency and reduce my body fat percentage?

Since I don't really want to put on any fat yet, I have decided to reduce my body fat percentage to about 18% and then eat at a caloric surplus up to 20% body fat, and go back to 18% again... Basically use this 2% window to build muscle. That is about 1.6kgs or about 4lbs of weight gain, which should happen over the course of 4 months, followed by burning 4lbs of fat in 8 months... That is a very modest yearly muscle gain of about 2lbs a year.

I might revised these numbers in the future. Right now I am not planning to put on 10lbs of muscle since I don't want to be too ambitious but realistic.
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BREWMASTERBILL 11/18/2012 11:10AM

    18-20% is a reasonable range to do either, IMO. Pick one and roll with it. The workout shouldn't change, only diet.

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BOB240 11/18/2012 10:25AM

    It's probably of little use to you but for me it seems that I can operate at about 100 calories below maintenance (but getting 1g/pound lbm protein) and build strength slowly. This results in 0.5 pound or less average weight loss a week..

Having said that I think on some days I eat more than others. As I only weigh once a month maybe I am doing a mini cut/bulk cycle.

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NEPTUNE1939 11/18/2012 10:01AM

    Yes you should be building muscle! Muscle is your friend and excess fat is the enemy. My body fat is down around 8%.

It's true you need calories to gain muscle but that does not mean you have to put on a lot of fat in the process. Keep track of your fat, carb, and protein percentages; that is important. Cardio will keep you lean while strength training will add to muscle. There are many good sites in bodybuilding that can aide your progress and SP's trackers are exceptionally useful.

My favorite E-book is "Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle". Other sites to learn "proper form" to avoid injury are Bodybuilding Criticalbench.com; Stronglifts.com. Dedication, recording your progress, and patience will serve your goals well. May god bless your progress, Earl emoticon

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