You *can* gain lean muscle while losing fat (ie: change your body composition) while on a calorie deficit. I did. It is obviously much harder/slower than it would be if you are eating at a calorie surplus but it can be done. If you don't believe me, just take a look at my photos on my sparkpage, particularly my upper body.
When I was thin before my pregnancies I had little muscle tone (a little in my legs, virtually none in my upper body. My biceps were non-existent). Then I gained weight over the last couple years, joined Spark and started strength training (or fumbled through it in the beginning).
Now, I can't tell you exactly what in particular helped me to gain muscle while on a calorie deficit. I can just tell you what factors I believe contributed to it. It really wasn't until the last 3 months that I experienced signficant gains and I'll tell you what I did:
1. I'm a mesomorph which means I'm short and gain muscle easily. (genetic advantage)
2. Lifted heavier weights and low reps. No more than 8-12 (at the most) before I moved up in weight.
3. Gave equal time to strength and cardio
4. Upped my calories and decreased my deficit to 1 lb/week loss (I just decreased it again to 1/2 lb loss)
5. Calorie cycle- I eat high calorie days, close to or around my maintenance on most ST days. Lower cals on cardio days. (I've also recently changed that because I'm combining intervals or circuit training on the same days I do ST to allow more rest days while decreasing my cardio so it's kinda hap hazard now).
6. Ensure I'm getting plenty of protein/complex carbs. 1-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.
7. I did/do circuit training with JM videos before starting my ST program.
8. My cardio is metabolic resistance training (and recently I''m including some HIIT)
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 3/9/2013 (07:32)
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!
I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.
All that matters is that you be the healthiest you, you ca
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