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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Staying lean and gaining strength--calorie surplus or deficit?

    I'm a rower, so I want to gain as much strength as possible with minimal mass increase. I've followed a two-day full body weight training plan (endurance: 2 sets of 50 reps, 40-50% of max, strength: 4 sets of 8 reps, ~80% of max for legs, 2 sets of 16, 80% max for arms, chest, core) with cardio and some other trainer sessions thrown in. I'm 6'1", 200lb, 10% bodyfat, consuming around 3000kcals/day.

    Here's my real question:

    Do I want to eat around my maintenance level to gain strength, or go below to cut some of the fat? Aesthetics aren't as important to me as getting stronger, but I wouldn't mind lower bodyfat if I can achieve it.

  2. #2
    Junior Member timpatrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Virginia Beach


    What is your body telling you? I know I can feel over eating and under-nurished.

  3. #3
    Gaining strength on a below maintenance calories, while not impossible, will be more difficult. If you do choose to decrease calories read up on carb cycling and ensuring your glycogen levels are full on big heavy weight training days so you can continue to use more weight. Heavier weights mean more strength.

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