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Old 11-10-2006, 03:55 PM
dashforce dashforce is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 329
Default Re: Can We Gain Muscle on a Caloric Deficit?

I think I might have gained muscle and lost fat this month. Just had my Bod Pod appointment, and according to it I've lost about 4 lbs fat and lost 1 pound LBM. (I know what you're thinking -- hold on a minute and let me explain).

In the time span between the last checkup and this one, I've done close to 4 weeks on the Anabolic Diet, a cyclical low-carb diet. Last BF test, I was eating moderate carb with dextrose/malto PWO, so my glycogen stores were probably moderate to high. This test was done on day 4 of carb depletion (after chest, back, arms, and immediately after legs day) so my glycogen stores + the water they hold were probably pretty much gone.

However, despite glycogen depletion, almost all my measurements went up compared to last month (except waist of course) which indicates to me that I probably didn't lose much (or maybe any?) muscle in that 1 lb LBM, but instead that it was probably reflected in glycogen and water loss.

So... let's see if this is reasonable:

Normal muscle glycogen stores of the general population are approximately 70-90 wet weight.

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So let's say 80 mmol/kg wet weight. For me, that's 80*10^-3*(166/2.2) = 6.036 mol glycogen. 6.036 mol * 162 g/mol gives 978 g glycogen -- a little over 2 lbs. I'm not sure if that "wet weight" is correct (I just used BW - maybe LBM is more appropriate) so I'll try again with a different approach:

Glycogen makes up about 1-2% of muscle weight and 6-10% of liver weight. Although the liver has a higher concentration of glycogen than muscle there is more glycogen stored in muscle tissue because muscle tissue is more abundant than liver tissue. The average person would store about 400 grams of glycogen in their muscles and 100 grams in their liver. Since 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 Calories, the body stores approximately 2000 Calories in the form of muscle and liver glycogen...

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So let's say I had 500 grams total glycogen, but was 80% depleted at the point of the test, so that's 400 grams difference.

every gram of glycogen is stored with approximately 3 grams of water

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13. Brooks G, Fahey T. Exercise Physiology. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1984.

so 400 grams + 1200 g water = 1600 g mass difference. That's about 3.5 pounds -- so it's possible that in the last month I've lost 4 pounds fat while adding as much as 2.5 pounds LBM.

Does that sound about right?
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