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Confused about Muscle Gain!

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Okay... so please forgive me if this shred is floating around already... I tried searching but couldn't find what I was looking for.

I've read quite often that you cannot gain muscle unless you are eating a surplus of calories. Is this a plain black and white answer, because it just doesn't make sense to me?

I'm currently doing the 30 Day Shred and have seen a lot of inspiring Before/After posts as well as seeing great results myself thus far. What I'm confused about is that many of the people doing the shred lose very little weight, but they lose heaps of inches and look so much better and more toned in their after pictures! They are not eating a surplus of calories and they are not losing many (if any0 weight on the scale, so how is it even possible that they are not losing fat/gaining muscle??

Please explain! Thanks! :smile:

Replies

  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,747 Member
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    There are 3 possible types of persons who can gain muscle on calorie deficit: An athlete returning to exercise after a long long layoff, an obese person who has taken up strength training to lose weight, a "newbie" meaning they have NEVER ever weight trained before.
    Other than that it's practically impossible. To gain muscle, especially a significant amount, you will be adding weight to your frame.
    If everyone you see in those videos look more muscular or their muscle tone is better it's for one reason......................the fat covering the muscle is depleted. Less fat means more DEFINITION not more muscle.
  • TinaS88
    TinaS88 Posts: 817 Member
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    Protein!! That is what the muscles eat. You do NOT need to eat an extra lot of calories, but depending on how hard you are working out you might want to eat a few of those exercise calories back, just to make sure your body is getting what it needs. But the answer is PROTEIN! :P

    And the scale isn't moving much because muscle weighs more then fat, they are "loosing the pounds" in fat, but gaining some back in muscle.
  • kgraham101
    kgraham101 Posts: 27 Member
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    Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat in the respect that a pound is a pound is a pound, so a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat which also weighs the same as a pound of feathers. But the volume of these pounds are different. Muscle is more dense so it can weigh the same amount as fat but take up less space. So you could say a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat. http://www.onemorebite-weightloss.com/muscle-to-fat.html Because this is true that given the same volume muscle will weigh more than fat, you are probably converting some of what was fat into muscle as you are exercising therefore weighing more while getting smaller. :smile:
  • chrisdavey
    chrisdavey Posts: 9,834 Member
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    visual deception. Hence why people shouldn't rely solely on scale weight changes.
  • shauna121211
    shauna121211 Posts: 575 Member
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    There are 3 possible types of persons who can gain muscle on calorie deficit: An athlete returning to exercise after a long long layoff, an obese person who has taken up strength training to lose weight, a "newbie" meaning they have NEVER ever weight trained before.
    Other than that it's practically impossible. To gain muscle, especially a significant amount, you will be adding weight to your frame.
    If everyone you see in those videos look more muscular or their muscle tone is better it's for one reason......................the fat covering the muscle is depleted. Less fat means more DEFINITION not more muscle.

    Yes I understand that definition doesn't mean more muscle, but it they are losing all that fat, why aren't they losing pounds?! Surely they must be gaining some muscle???? Right?
  • Frannswaz
    Frannswaz Posts: 172 Member
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    There are 3 possible types of persons who can gain muscle on calorie deficit: An athlete returning to exercise after a long long layoff, an obese person who has taken up strength training to lose weight, a "newbie" meaning they have NEVER ever weight trained before.
    Other than that it's practically impossible. To gain muscle, especially a significant amount, you will be adding weight to your frame.
    If everyone you see in those videos look more muscular or their muscle tone is better it's for one reason......................the fat covering the muscle is depleted. Less fat means more DEFINITION not more muscle.

    Yes I understand that definition doesn't mean more muscle, but it they are losing all that fat, why aren't they losing pounds?! Surely they must be gaining some muscle???? Right?


    Your body like nature hates a vacuum. So as you lose the fat from your body will fill the space in those cells with water and so maintain its equilibrium...so the scales won’t move even though to fat is gone. It’s not so much that you’ve gained muscle because it takes a while for your body to create the increase muscle tissue even with increased protein intake. My understanding is that eventually as you continue to adequate amounts of water everyday your body will eventually release the water in the fat cells and then you see a dramatic change in the scales. That's why water is so important in fat loss.
    Just my two cents :smile:
  • shauna121211
    shauna121211 Posts: 575 Member
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    I guess that makes sense, but I might as well be a fish with the amount of water I drink! lol
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    There are 3 possible types of persons who can gain muscle on calorie deficit: An athlete returning to exercise after a long long layoff, an obese person who has taken up strength training to lose weight, a "newbie" meaning they have NEVER ever weight trained before.
    Other than that it's practically impossible. To gain muscle, especially a significant amount, you will be adding weight to your frame.
    If everyone you see in those videos look more muscular or their muscle tone is better it's for one reason......................the fat covering the muscle is depleted. Less fat means more DEFINITION not more muscle.

    Yes I understand that definition doesn't mean more muscle, but it they are losing all that fat, why aren't they losing pounds?! Surely they must be gaining some muscle???? Right?

    There is more to fat-free mass than just muscle.