Maintaining muscle from strength training

xstephnz Posts: 278 Member
If you do strength training three times a week, and lose 2 pounds a week, will some of that weight still come from muscle? do you need to do some strength training everyday to avoid losing muscle? I know it's not recommended to do it everyday, but I was just wondering.


  • alyhuggan
    alyhuggan Posts: 717 Member
    I read this somewhere a while ago, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The higher body fat percentage you are the less likely you are to lose muscle from aggressive weight loss (as long as you are hitting your protein goals, sleeping well and weight lifting efficiently.)

    So if you are high in the overweight or in the obese levels of body fat you should retain most of your muscle.

    If you are nearing lower levels of body fat (as an example <15 for males is starting to get into the "lean" category) and continue to cut as aggressively you are likely to start losing muscle along with fat.

    If you slow it down to 0.5-0.75lb per week then you minimise the amount of muscle you will lose.

    You are probably always going to lose some muscle while in a deficit, whether it be a small amount of large amount. It's best to lower the deficit as you lower your body fat percentage.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    "Strength training" is a variable term, meaning anything from lifting little pink dumbbells to following a good, pro-designed program (NROL, Stronglifts, etc) using heavy weight. If you do the latter, and you eat enough protein, your muscle loss will be minimal. Don't do more than the program recommends.
  • halfninja2
    halfninja2 Posts: 35 Member
    Personally, I alternate cardio and weight training 6 days a week and 1 day of rest. So, like you, I'm getting 3 days of strength training a week. I'm definitely putting on and retaining muscle. It can be harder to put on muscle while still losing fat, but it is definitely possible. I think you can gauge it from your strength and/or difficulty of lifting - if it gets easier and you can do more reps or lift more weight then I don't see how you'd be losing muscle. If it never gets easier then something isn't right!
  • xstephnz
    xstephnz Posts: 278 Member
    I just said the 2lbs as an example. If you are losing weight, are you always losing muscle tone?
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    edited June 2015
    xstephnz wrote: »
    I just said the 2lbs as an example. If you are losing weight, are you always losing muscle tone?

    It depends.

    Very lean people have a hard time maintaining muscle mass when dieting without the use of drugs.

    Someone very overweight is probably losing no muscle (or close to it).

    Everyone else is in between. Depends on age, genetics, diet, programming, everything.

    Long story short, if you're not super lean, if your deficit isn't too huge, your macros are reasonable and you're following some sort of good training program, you're probably losing little to no muscle mass. Probably.

    And no, training every day is not necessary to avoid muscle loss. 3 good full-body days is fine.