Impossible for the body to build muscle while in a deficit?

s4159 Posts: 2 Member
Is this true?

I'm doing IF, and usually keep my body at a comfortable deficit. I've been weight training, but does it really matter if I do. Do I have to lose the weight first, then worry about building muscle?


  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,577 Member
    Not true.
  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,219 Member
    I've been gaining muscle in an overall's painfully slow, but that might be mostly because I'm a girl and middle age and slender built...however, if I can do it, anyone can...I'm sure of it!
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    Not impossible, but extremely difficult depending on the circumstances
  • lemmie177
    lemmie177 Posts: 479 Member
    Not impossible. Just difficult and increasingly unlikely, especially compared to being in a surplus. The body constantly cycles through catabolic and anabolic states as you eat throughout the day, I never understood this reasoning for gaining muscle to be impossible. Otherwise, recomp wouldn't happen either.

    Really depends where you're at now. If you currently have very little muscle mass, high body fat, are new to strength training, or had a lot more muscle in the past, you have a better chance of gaining muscle in a deficit.

    In any case, weight training during your deficit matters because you want muscle retention. As you lose weight, it'll come from both fat and muscle. Weight training helps it come from the former rather than the latter.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,262 Member
    It's not impossible. You won't build as much muscle as you would at maintenance or above but building while in a deficit can happen. Additionally, it happens more in some populations than in others. New and overfat lifters, who tend to be the people who ask about this the most, are two of the populations for whom this is easier. People returning to lifting after a layoff are the other group. In addition, keep in mind that lifting weights has benefits beyond building muscle. It increases strength (which can happen even without growing new muscle), helps you to retain muscle while losing weight, and strengthens your bones.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    Is it impossible to fill a bucket using a thimble? Not exactly, unless it has a hole (already lean, already trained, too high of a deficit...etc).