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Training for fat loss vs. training for muscle/strength gain

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  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    Generally speaking, but biggest difference between training on a cut and training an a bulk is going to be volume. Most good, established programs can be left largely in tact regardless of intake with the only real change being a reduction in overall volume.

    Generic example: rather than doing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps, you might cut back to 3-5 sets of 3-6 reps, but the actual lifts you do and muscles you work remain the same.
    Pretty much this. Just need to maintain a good protein profile too. I did this many times for competitions.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • jemhhjemhh Member Posts: 14,273 Member Member Posts: 14,273 Member
    jemhh wrote: »
    High reps low weight is typically used for muscle endurance when you train for muscle endurance your muscles tend to get leaner. Sets of 5 reps is typically used for strength building and sets of 10 typically used for size.

    No. Muscle is lean. Period. There is no fat muscle.

    The point was simply that high reps is not used for building strength or muscle size. High reps is used for muscle endurance which typically does not see a big increase in muscle size or increased strength and could result in muscles looking smaller.

    Sure your muscle is not literally lean but when you have low body fat and muscles that have been trained for endurance you typically look "lean" vs someone who has trained their muscles for size or strength you migjt say looks "bulked". For example look at kali muscle very little body fat but I don't think anyone is calling him lean....

    If OP wants to retain muscle size and or strength high reps low weight isn't the answer for them. If their goal is to keep muscle endurance up then they should continue with high reps.

    My point was and still is valid why you're trying to discredit me or feel the need to correct me I'm not sure... if your ego needs it that bad then yes you're right muscle cannot be literally lean.

    Correcting you has nothing to do with my ego. It has to do with you being wrong. People read the threads here in the hope of getting correct information and that's not what you offered. Nice try at a personal jibe though. :kissing_heart:


  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member
    Scamd83 wrote: »
    @jacksonpt @rybo So would working each set of muscles once a week for those sorts of sets and reps be sufficient volume whilst cutting or could you do it twice per week?
    When I competed, it was attention to detail. My arms didn't need as much as my legs did, so I trained legs twice a week and arms once, with everything else alternating 1 or 2 times a week.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • Scamd83Scamd83 Member Posts: 808 Member Member Posts: 808 Member
    @rybo @jacksonpt Do you do (or have done) one of those 5x5/5x3/5,3,1 programmes?

    @ninerbuff @robertw486 I've seen all sorts of recommendations on what constitutes adequate protein levels. For me it seems to range from 120-150g. Is 2.2g per kg adequate do you think?
    edited January 2016
  • jemhhjemhh Member Posts: 14,273 Member Member Posts: 14,273 Member
    Scamd83 wrote: »
    @rybo @jacksonpt Do you do (or have done) one of those 5x5/5x3/5,3,1 programmes?

    @ninerbuff @robertw486 I've seen all sorts of recommendations on what constitutes adequate protein levels. For me it seems to range from 120-150g. Is 2.2g per kg adequate do you think?

    Not ninerbuff or robertw486 but you might find this article interesting. It gives background on various protein studies and the final takeaway is this:
    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle once you’re past the novice level as a natural trainee. This already includes a mark-up, since most research finds no more benefits after 0.64 g/lb.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,638 Member
    Scamd83 wrote: »
    @rybo @jacksonpt Do you do (or have done) one of those 5x5/5x3/5,3,1 programmes?

    @ninerbuff @robertw486 I've seen all sorts of recommendations on what constitutes adequate protein levels. For me it seems to range from 120-150g. Is 2.2g per kg adequate do you think?
    During cut phase for me, 1g per pound of bodyweight seemed fine for me. I likely ate more than that though since I was also carb depleting.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • jimmmerjimmmer Member Posts: 3,535 Member Member Posts: 3,535 Member
    I lift the same.

    The only difference is mostly mental. If you think you'll get weaker/slide backwards - congratulations you're probably right.

    Get the non-training stuff right: sleep, hydration, soft-tissue stuff. Don't get crazy with the calorie deficit. Get enough protein. And you're golden.
  • Scamd83Scamd83 Member Posts: 808 Member Member Posts: 808 Member
    @jemhh Thank you, happy for anyone to reply and really appreciative. That comes to about 120g of protein for me, which sounds about right I think. Although with my less than impressive strength for the years I've been lifting (about four years now) I think I'm still classed as a beginner so wondering if that means I need more at this stage?

    @ninerbuff Interested in your carb depletion comment. I remember trying the ultra low carb phase for carb backloading in 2013 for 10 days. I felt awful at the end of it and my legs pretty much took the week off after a few days. But I dropped 9 lbs and felt ridiculously lean and after consuming a bit too much recently I wouldn't mind trying to quickly shed some water weight and fat. Can you recommend anything along these lines?
    edited January 2016
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Member Posts: 18,515 Member Member Posts: 18,515 Member
    jemhh wrote: »
    Not ninerbuff or robertw486 but you might find this article interesting. It gives background on various protein studies and the final takeaway is this:
    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle once you’re past the novice level as a natural trainee. This already includes a mark-up, since most research finds no more benefits after 0.64 g/lb.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session.

    It's worth noting that Eric Helms, Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon all disagree pretty strongly with Menno's findings in that article.
  • jemhhjemhh Member Posts: 14,273 Member Member Posts: 14,273 Member
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    jemhh wrote: »
    Not ninerbuff or robertw486 but you might find this article interesting. It gives background on various protein studies and the final takeaway is this:
    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle once you’re past the novice level as a natural trainee. This already includes a mark-up, since most research finds no more benefits after 0.64 g/lb.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session.

    It's worth noting that Eric Helms, Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon all disagree pretty strongly with Menno's findings in that article.

    @AnvilHead, isn't there an interview with Menno and Helms that discusses this? I can't get to it right now but I feel like I've seen it.
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Member Posts: 18,515 Member Member Posts: 18,515 Member
    jemhh wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    jemhh wrote: »
    Not ninerbuff or robertw486 but you might find this article interesting. It gives background on various protein studies and the final takeaway is this:
    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle once you’re past the novice level as a natural trainee. This already includes a mark-up, since most research finds no more benefits after 0.64 g/lb.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session.

    It's worth noting that Eric Helms, Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon all disagree pretty strongly with Menno's findings in that article.

    @AnvilHead, isn't there an interview with Menno and Helms that discusses this? I can't get to it right now but I feel like I've seen it.

    Here's Eric's response on his Facebook page - very long but worth reading, and he cites several relevant studies.
  • elite_nalelite_nal Member Posts: 127 Member Member Posts: 127 Member
    erickirb wrote: »
    When I was lifting and losing I was doing high rep-lower weight with extensive cardio on my off days. Now that I'm trying to increase strength I'm lifting super heavy-lower reps and not as much cardio. And I've upped my calories significantly. Not sure if that's the proper way to do it, but that's the approach I've been taking and so far so good.

    while cutting ensure you get enough protein, lift heavy, and ensure your deficit isn't too large to retain as much muscle as possible. It is best to lift heavy while cutting as it is more muscle sparing that higher rep, and you can increase strength while cutting this way.

    Correct.

    When it comes to this program aspect, most trainees get it completely wrong. They lighten up the weights, perform higher reps and include more isolation lifts in their plan thinking that "heavy weights and low reps builds muscle" while "light weights and high reps burns fat". In reality, this type of cutting phase workout is completely misguided and counterproductive.

    There's only two things you can do with your muscles: you can make them bigger and you can make them smaller. But changing up your rep schemes and exercise selection in order to structure a "muscle definition routine" really makes no sense at all.

    Achieving a high degree of "muscle tone" is simply a matter of having good muscular development along with low body fat levels.

    So, your muscle definition workout really should be structured in the exact same way as your "bulking" workout. Your goal should be to provide the most powerful stimulus to your muscles that you can so that you can maintain as much lean muscle during your cutting phase as possible. From there, let your diet and cardio strip off the fat.

    If you go the "light weight high reps" route, all you really do is end up providing a weaker stimulus to your muscles and increase the chances of LBM loss during your cutting program.
  • Scamd83Scamd83 Member Posts: 808 Member Member Posts: 808 Member
    @elite_nal When you say structured the same way do you mean for both bulking and cutting you should lift heavy for less reps exactly the same?
  • cafeaulait7cafeaulait7 Member Posts: 2,483 Member Member Posts: 2,483 Member
    Yeah, I'm confused as to whether hypertrophy range is fine for both. It's lighter weight/higher rep compared to strength range, but it's not the kind of low weight people talk about that doesn't really grow muscle.
  • arditarosearditarose Member Posts: 15,610 Member Member Posts: 15,610 Member
    The last time I was cutting, in order to get lean enough for a bulk, I cut out ALL hypertrophy work. I just ran 5x5 until I stalled and at that point the cut was about done. Looking back I don't know if that was the smartest idea. My thought was that I wouldn't be able to get myself into a deficit with all that volume and a 4 day split. Obviously 5x5 became very taxing anyway.

    When I cut after this bulk I'm definitely going to keep the same program/split and reduce volume as needed.
  • Sarah4fitnessSarah4fitness Member, Premium Posts: 440 Member Member, Premium Posts: 440 Member
    jemhh wrote: »
    High reps low weight is typically used for muscle endurance when you train for muscle endurance your muscles tend to get leaner. Sets of 5 reps is typically used for strength building and sets of 10 typically used for size.

    No. Muscle is lean. Period. There is no fat muscle.

    The point was simply that high reps is not used for building strength or muscle size. High reps is used for muscle endurance which typically does not see a big increase in muscle size or increased strength and could result in muscles looking smaller.

    Sure your muscle is not literally lean but when you have low body fat and muscles that have been trained for endurance you typically look "lean" vs someone who has trained their muscles for size or strength you migjt say looks "bulked". For example look at kali muscle very little body fat but I don't think anyone is calling him lean....

    If OP wants to retain muscle size and or strength high reps low weight isn't the answer for them. If their goal is to keep muscle endurance up then they should continue with high reps.

    My point was and still is valid why you're trying to discredit me or feel the need to correct me I'm not sure... if your ego needs it that bad then yes you're right muscle cannot be literally lean.

    All this, this is SILLY. Ignore it for accurate information.
  • Sarah4fitnessSarah4fitness Member, Premium Posts: 440 Member Member, Premium Posts: 440 Member
    elite_nal wrote: »
    erickirb wrote: »
    When I was lifting and losing I was doing high rep-lower weight with extensive cardio on my off days. Now that I'm trying to increase strength I'm lifting super heavy-lower reps and not as much cardio. And I've upped my calories significantly. Not sure if that's the proper way to do it, but that's the approach I've been taking and so far so good.

    while cutting ensure you get enough protein, lift heavy, and ensure your deficit isn't too large to retain as much muscle as possible. It is best to lift heavy while cutting as it is more muscle sparing that higher rep, and you can increase strength while cutting this way.

    Correct.

    When it comes to this program aspect, most trainees get it completely wrong. They lighten up the weights, perform higher reps and include more isolation lifts in their plan thinking that "heavy weights and low reps builds muscle" while "light weights and high reps burns fat". In reality, this type of cutting phase workout is completely misguided and counterproductive.

    There's only two things you can do with your muscles: you can make them bigger and you can make them smaller. But changing up your rep schemes and exercise selection in order to structure a "muscle definition routine" really makes no sense at all.

    Achieving a high degree of "muscle tone" is simply a matter of having good muscular development along with low body fat levels.

    So, your muscle definition workout really should be structured in the exact same way as your "bulking" workout. Your goal should be to provide the most powerful stimulus to your muscles that you can so that you can maintain as much lean muscle during your cutting phase as possible. From there, let your diet and cardio strip off the fat.

    If you go the "light weight high reps" route, all you really do is end up providing a weaker stimulus to your muscles and increase the chances of LBM loss during your cutting program.

    THIS, however, is a great post. I'd follow this information for your purpose of fat loss without losing your muscle.
  • elite_nalelite_nal Member Posts: 127 Member Member Posts: 127 Member
    Scamd83 wrote: »
    @elite_nal When you say structured the same way do you mean for both bulking and cutting you should lift heavy for less reps exactly the same?
    Yeah, I'm confused as to whether hypertrophy range is fine for both. It's lighter weight/higher rep compared to strength range, but it's not the kind of low weight people talk about that doesn't really grow muscle.

    Yes, hypertrophy range is fine for both.

    But there's no definite answer that will be optimal for every person in every situation, we can still come up with some pretty reliable guidelines by taking a quick look at the science and logic of muscle growth.

    First off, there are 2 main types of muscle hypertrophy that can take place: myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. When determining how many reps to build muscle, this distinction is important.

    Myofibrillar hypertrophy refers to an actual increase of the muscle tissue itself as the body adds more actin and myosin proteins to the muscle fiber. This results in a direct gain of true “dry” muscle.

    Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy refers to an overall increase in non-contractile muscle cell fluid. Although this type of hypertrophy will cause the muscles to temporarily appear larger and fuller, there is no increase in strength and the size gains will quickly dissipate with inactivity.

    There may be some practical benefit to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in the short term, but when designing an effective bodybuilding program the core focus should always be on producing myofibrillar gains.

    Here's what I'd suggest avoiding in terms of optimal rep range if you are trying to maximize lean muscle gains...

    *3 Reps Or Lower - Go lower than 3 reps and you'll primarily experience neural adaptations that improve strength and power rather than actual muscle size.

    *10 Reps Or Higher - Go too far beyond 10 and the emphasis shifts onto improvements in endurance rather than muscle size.

    But don't get me wrong here, you'll still gain muscle size even if you do perform 3 reps or 10+ reps, but it just won't be optimal.

    In my opinion, the "sweet spot" here for maximizing actual lean muscle growth is about 5-7 reps per set. This is a great rep range for size as it maximizes gains in myofibrillar hypertrophy (actual dense muscle rather than fluid increases) and also allows you to generate a high level of intensity since the sets are short and explosive.

    This means you'll want to choose a weight that you can perform at least 5 reps with, but that is heavy enough that you can't go beyond 7. This is a great rep range for hypertrophy and should be used on most exercises, with the exception of those with very short ranges of motion (like shrugs or calf raises) or those that place the joints in a more vulnerable position (like flyes or side laterals). Go with about 8-10 reps for those movements.

    Now, let’s be clear here: This is just an overall guideline and should not be treated as an absolute figure.

    Depending on your exact body type, rep speed, mindset etc. the numbers can vary a bit. I’m not saying that 4 reps can’t work, or that if you do 11 reps the world is going to implode on you. I’m simply aiming to give an overall recommendation that will work optimally for the majority of people in the majority of situations.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Member Posts: 29,148 Member Member Posts: 29,148 Member
    OP - do you currently follow a structured lifting program?

    The problem with working out when aggressively cutting is that you can not handle the same level of volume that you would when bulking/adding musicle...
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Member Posts: 29,148 Member Member Posts: 29,148 Member
    i would also add that when cutting you want to keep protein higher, and then when bulking you want to get majority of cals from carbs and lower protein a bit….
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