Building muscle on a cut. Is it possible?

It is given that most people who are reading this are afraid to lose their muscle gains during their cut. This is an extremely controversial topic as some pro bodybuilders will say it is possible, while there are others who will say it is not as you need to be in a caloric surplus to do so. But is it actually possible though? It is not 100% confirmed, however these 2 points that we will show that it is possible to shred and gain simultaneously.

In theory

According to a nutrition expert Mark McManus, it is possible to burn fat and build muscle at the same time during a deficit as when you don't fulfil your daily caloric maintenance needs through food, your body will tap into your stored calories as a source of energy. Those stored calories are in the form of body fat, therefore will lose fat in order to build that muscle.

However, there is a catch. According to Mark, eating high-carb with little room for protein during a caloric deficit will result in weight loss. But, the weight that you will lose in the process will likely be 50% muscle weight. Therefore it is important to get a sufficient amount of protein in your daily diet. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a minimum of 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight is essential in each day in order to maximize muscle growth,

From a study

The scientists at McMaster University did a study on 40 young men and divided into 2 groups. Both groups went on a low calorie diet with a demanding six-days-a-week exercise routines, however one group consumed higher levels of protein than the other group. The higher-protein group gained about 2.5 pounds of muscle despite consuming insufficient calories, while the lower protein group did not gain any extra pound of muscle. In terms of fat loss, the high-protein group lost around 10.5 pounds, while the low protein group only 8 pounds.


In conclusion, It is possible to make some muscle gains during your cut as long you keep your protein intake high and carbs low in order to not go above your daily calorie goal. Low carbs can be a bit of a pain as the feeling fullness does give you that good feeling on the gut. However, the road to shreds is never easy. You just have to go the extra mile to get the bod of the gods.

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