1. #1
    Musclechemistry Site Representative Board Certified MD
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    Default Go Heavy, Retain Muscle

    Go Heavy, Retain Muscle You've been training hard while trying to gain as much muscle as possible. Now that you're on a diet you must give your body a reason to hold on to this new muscle. High-intensity strength exercises (70-100% range) are better than low-intensity exercises (40-70% range) while dieting. Higher training loads help you preserve muscle while on a low-calorie diet much better than high volume/low-intensity workouts.
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    See, the body is more interested in survival. So energy reserves such as body fat are more precious than muscle since the latter actually consumes energy. When calories are low, we enter survival mode and the energy-costly muscle goes away it's broken down into amino acids then transformed into glucose for energy. To keep muscle, you must give the body a reason. Will lifting light weights do it? No. You need to continue to lift heavy.
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    We've been brainwashed to believe that you should do high-reps for definition. This is ridiculous. Sure, you use a little more energy during your workout, but the higher the training volume, the more energy you need to recover from your workout. The more glycogen you burn while strength training, the more carbs you'll need to recover and progress. If you're on a cutting diet, chances are that you've lowered your carb intake. So you need more carbs, but you're actually giving less to your body!
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    Also, while on a hypocaloric diet your body has a lowered anabolic drive: it can't synthesize as much protein into muscle. A super-high volume of work leads to a lot of microtrauma to the muscle structures. Microtrauma requires a great protein synthesis increase, which your body can't do at this point. So if you use high-volume/low-intensity training while dieting, you'll break down more muscle and build up less. One of the greatest benefits of high-rep training is an increase in blood and nutrient flow to the muscles, but if you have a reduced amount of nutrients available, this benefit is pretty much wasted.
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    Nice post! Thank you!
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  3. #3
    Musclechemistry Site Representative Board Certified MD
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    That may change as we get older and have to deal with all those old injures from our youth. LOL
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