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funnyesq
06-06-2006, 06:06 AM
Okay...here's the thing. I'm 5'8" and about 160. I've lost 20+ lbs and probably most of that was FAT and unfortunately probably some of that was muscle. According to a variety of measurements, I'm about 35% BF :(

In the 8-9 months I've been working on losing fat (last 3-4 months diet has been off, but workouts have not been off) I've progressed in strength and coordination and probably endurance.

Question: If on a calorie deficit it's very difficult to BUILD muscle, how is it that I'm stronger and able to bench, for example, more now than then? Same with leg press, pull downs, lunges, curls, overheads, chest presses etc. Also it seems that the circumferances are the same if not a bit smaller (arms, legs etc). Still seems that I have not gained muscle. But I am stronger. Now, I recently read that someone posted that as a "newbie" I got better access neurologically to my muscles (maybe this is too simplistic but for example at the beginning I only used 50% of the muscle vs. now I'm using 95% which explains why I can bench more weight now vs. then????). At some point isn't my body going to say ...hey, I am just not going to be able to lift any more no matter what you do until you eat more so that I can build bigger muscle to accomodate the higher weight?

Also, since the board seems to advocate lower rep/high weight (for example 3 sets of 6-8 reps bench of 100lbs) v. higher rep/lower weight (for example 3 sets of 12-15 reps bench of 80lbs) wouldn't working the higher rep result in more fat burning because of the TIME it takes to accomplish the set? (i.e. it takes longer to do 12-15 reps vs. 6-8??) There isn't much difference in weight but then is this what you mean by "volume" i.e. that you multiply set X reps X weight to get volume to see how hard one is working? What happens at 6-8 reps that doesn't happen at 12-15 reps assuming both weights are difficult to achieve that last rep in that last set that results in better fat loss or more fat loss? Thanks.

PowerManDL
06-06-2006, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by funnyesq@Jun 6 2006, 02:06 AM
Question: If on a calorie deficit it's very difficult to BUILD muscle, how is it that I'm stronger and able to bench, for example, more now than then? Same with leg press, pull downs, lunges, curls, overheads, chest presses etc. Also it seems that the circumferances are the same if not a bit smaller (arms, legs etc). Still seems that I have not gained muscle. But I am stronger. Now, I recently read that someone posted that as a "newbie" I got better access neurologically to my muscles (maybe this is too simplistic but for example at the beginning I only used 50% of the muscle vs. now I'm using 95% which explains why I can bench more weight now vs. then????). At some point isn't my body going to say ...hey, I am just not going to be able to lift any more no matter what you do until you eat more so that I can build bigger muscle to accomodate the higher weight?

Neurological efficiency is repsonsible for most of the strength gains if you're new.

You can also do weird tricks of partitioning such as simultaneous muscle gain/fat loss if you're somewhat overweight and new. All the leptin floating around makes it possible.

You may well have gained muscle in the process. A smaller circumference doesn't mean much if large amounts of fat are dropping off.

And yes, eventually it will stop. You can only do so much neurologically with a given volume of muscle.


Also, since the board seems to advocate lower rep/high weight (for example 3 sets of 6-8 reps bench of 100lbs) v. higher rep/lower weight (for example 3 sets of 12-15 reps bench of 80lbs) wouldn't working the higher rep result in more fat burning because of the TIME it takes to accomplish the set? (i.e. it takes longer to do 12-15 reps vs. 6-8??) There isn't much difference in weight but then is this what you mean by "volume" i.e. that you multiply set X reps X weight to get volume to see how hard one is working? What happens at 6-8 reps that doesn't happen at 12-15 reps assuming both weights are difficult to achieve that last rep in that last set that results in better fat loss or more fat loss? Thanks.

Weight training is a poor choice to stimulate fat loss except under specific conditions.

Heavy weights are preferably because they stimulate protein synthesis, which in turn maintains your muscle. Critical on a diet.