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JohnP? Weight training questions

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default JohnP? Weight training questions

OK, I went back to reread a thread I subscribed to march 2012 but never actually read at the time (How does weight training affect weight loss?)

I had a couple questions about a couple things JohnP said.

(not sure how to add quotes sorry!)

1st: "Strength improvements of the kind you're talking about (being able to regularly up the amount they are lifting) are neurological. It is only possible to gain muscle in a caloric deficit for a short period of time - typically 3-6 months and the amount of muscle a woman will gain is fairly minimal." Ok, I understand why women don't really gain muscle mass, and why you can't gain in a deficit (well I don't understand that part, but I've accepted it as fact and moved on lol) What is happening neurologically that is allowing the person to up the lifting amount if they aren't building muscle?

2nd: Building muscle (except in beginners) requires a caloric surplus. Losing fat requires a caloric deficit. You can build strength slowly at maintenance but not muscle. Ok, I accept the first sentence even if I don't necessarily understand it (Why can't the body get the excess calories to build muscle from the fat it burns! ). The second sentence I understand 100%. But the third sentence confuses me, if sentence A is true how can you build at maintenance? Or does this relate back to question 1? Strength gains are somehow different than muscle building?


Anyone else that knows is more than welcome to answer, I threw John's name up as he was the original commenter so I figured he is most likely to be able to explain
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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Ok, I understand why women don't really gain muscle mass, and why you can't gain in a deficit (well I don't understand that part, but I've accepted it as fact and moved on lol) What is happening neurologically that is allowing the person to up the lifting amount if they aren't building muscle?
Newbies actually can gain a little muscle, but usually you can't gain in a deficit. A lot of "getting stronger" IS mental! Most of us are afraid to lift heavy and are surprised at what we can do.

Overweight folks have actually built up a lot of muscle mass just from being alive, moving around, etc. Weight training while losing weight allows you to keep more of that muscle mass and ensure you don't end up at a low weight but with a high body fat percentage.

I lifted on the way down. It left me pretty lean with muscle definition in my arms, legs and a little on my torso.


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2nd: Building muscle (except in beginners) requires a caloric surplus. Losing fat requires a caloric deficit. You can build strength slowly at maintenance but not muscle. Ok, I accept the first sentence even if I don't necessarily understand it (Why can't the body get the excess calories to build muscle from the fat it burns! ). The second sentence I understand 100%. But the third sentence confuses me, if sentence A is true how can you build at maintenance? Or does this relate back to question 1? Strength gains are somehow different than muscle building?


Anyone else that knows is more than welcome to answer, I threw John's name up as he was the original commenter so I figured he is most likely to be able to explain
You can't build at maintenance either. You need a surplus! A lot of weight training folks go through cycles where they bulk (gain weight on purpose) and lose (where they shed fat). I recently decided to do this myself. I gained weight while weight training and now I'm losing it again and I'm probably going to settle at a little higher weight because I hope I built a little muscle in that process!

Once again, you have a good amount of muscle—you just need to use it! weight training while losing weight is a bit different then when you want to weight train at maintenance or if you're at a weight where you can't lose anymore. For most who are losing, you don't want to build more muscle—you have more than you need. You are weight training to convince your body that you NEED this muscle and you DON'T want it to use it as fuel as you create a caloric deficit! You're telling it to just get rid of the fat!

Granted, you won't only lose fat—you simply don't need as much muscle when you're stronger.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Those new to weight lifting can build in a deficit but after 6 months to a year, it becomes more difficult. Also, your body is pretty amazing in that you can have a deficit one day but not another. Lots of people eat more on their lifting days and less on non lifting days.

Basically, those that lift long term and want to increase strength, need to eat more to do that. Professional body builders depend on a strength phase and a cut phase to lose excess fat.

Overall, for us that are trying to lose weight, strength training is great as we tend to lose muscle when we lose fat. Strength training helps us maintain our muscle while we lose fat.

And this isn't something I'd worry about unless you are looking into competitive weight lifting.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #4
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And this isn't something I'd worry about unless you are looking into competitive weight lifting.
I'm not really worried about it, just curious when reading his posts on the other thread

thanks guys!
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Why can't the body get the excess calories to build muscle from the fat it burns! .
Fat and muscle are completely different.

Muscle is built from amino acids (protein). Fat is just stored energy and can't be converted into muscle. Protein can technically be converted to fat, but the amount that would have to be consumed to cause that to happen is too massive for pretty much anyone to eat. Although some people think that as we get older the body turns muscle into fat, that simply does not happen.

Think of muscles like an engine and fat as like gasoline. If your engine breaks down, pouring gasoline on it won't fix it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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I've leaned-out past what I thought possible! (And I've struggled with my weight as much as anyone here, so that's a shock!) But due to low BMI, and kinda scary arms and legs, at the expense of the core I always wanted, I need to regain some weight, and I want to do it without changing my body comp. Can I regain lean tissue, on just my arms and legs and ***, hopefully with weight training? Thank you all so much for any advice! 3FC rocks, at every stage of the journey!
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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It's highly possible - lots of lifting, lots of protein. Caloric surplus but with healthy foods. Put oil and butter on stuff and supplement with protein powder.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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Can I regain lean tissue, on just my arms and legs and ***, hopefully with weight training?
For bum and thighs I would recommend squats. For arms, pushups.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:30 AM   #9
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Thank you!! I'm ordering NROLFW now, and making an appointment with a trainer, and the BodPod!
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