Originally Posted by pnkrckpixikat
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.
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.