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    Question Maingaining at 10-12% bodyfat impossible?

    The myth of not being able to gain muscle and lose fat has been debunked many times. It's been shown that bulking only increases the rate of muscle gain, but is not a requirement. My question is, if you're already at a low bodyfat, is it damn near impossible to recomp provided that you're a beginner/intermediate?
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    The myth of not being able to gain muscle and lose fat has been debunked many times. It's been shown that bulking only increases the rate of muscle gain, but is not a requirement. My question is, if you're already at a low bodyfat, is it damn near impossible to recomp provided that you're a beginner/intermediate?
    There’s really no telling & it’s all individual. That being said, I’d wager that it’s going to be impossible to fo much of a “recomp” at 10% as a natural. You could add mass with minimal-to-no increase in body fat, but I don’t think you can recomp simply because you don’t have much to “recomp” at 10% or less. At 12% a recomp is probably within the cards still.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    There’s really no telling & it’s all individual. That being said, I’d wager that it’s going to be impossible to fo much of a “recomp” at 10% as a natural. You could add mass with minimal-to-no increase in body fat, but I don’t think you can recomp simply because you don’t have much to “recomp” at 10% or less. At 12% a recomp is probably within the cards still.
    Is it true that you're really hungry all the time at that lean? As impressive as it is, that doesn't sound very desirable honestly, especially when ~15% is still relatively lean and looks quite good on most people. As a teenager I had some abs and decent separation (albeit with little overall mass), but I think my hunger at the time had more to do with being a growing teenager. I probably never got below 15% at my leanest but I've heard a lot of people say beneath about 12, you're hungry all the time.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Is it true that you're really hungry all the time at that lean? As impressive as it is, that doesn't sound very desirable honestly, especially when ~15% is still relatively lean and looks quite good on most people. As a teenager I had some abs and decent separation (albeit with little overall mass), but I think my hunger at the time had more to do with being a growing teenager. I probably never got below 15% at my leanest but I've heard a lot of people say beneath about 12, you're hungry all the time.
    For most people, yes... your leptin will be very low at 10%
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    For most people, yes... your leptin will be very low at 10%
    But there's a difference between eating at maintenance at 10% and cutting down to 10%. If you've been cutting for 3 months and you're down at 10%, of course you're going to be hungry. I don't think that's the case if you're at 10% and eating at maintenance for a while though.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    But there's a difference between eating at maintenance at 10% and cutting down to 10%. If you've been cutting for 3 months and you're down at 10%, of course you're going to be hungry. I don't think that's the case if you're at 10% and eating at maintenance for a while though.
    Not really.

    Leptin is produced by fat cells...

    If you’re maintaining, you’re not adding fat cells... so, you don’t have the leptin...

    For most people, that is why maintaining 10% is so hard... you have to accept being hungry..

    Of course it won’t feel as bad as cutting, but it’s kind of walking the tight rope.

    Plus, if you’re 10% and eating in a 200 calories surplus, it’s like not your body comp is going to change noticeably over the short term... it would take you like 3 weeks to even gain a single pound of fat... you’d basically look identical and not have to suffer at all.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Not really.

    Leptin is produced by fat cells...

    If you’re maintaining, you’re not adding fat cells... so, you don’t have the leptin...

    For most people, that is why maintaining 10% is so hard... you have to accept being hungry..

    Of course it won’t feel as bad as cutting, but it’s kind of walking the tight rope.

    Plus, if you’re 10% and eating in a 200 calories surplus, it’s like not your body comp is going to change noticeably over the short term... it would take you like 3 weeks to even gain a single pound of fat... you’d basically look identical and not have to suffer at all.
    Ok so would you then say that just coming off a deficit at 10% has more hunger than maintaining at 10%? Nevermind i just read the part where you said it won't feel as bad as cutting.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Is it true that you're really hungry all the time at that lean? As impressive as it is, that doesn't sound very desirable honestly, especially when ~15% is still relatively lean and looks quite good on most people. As a teenager I had some abs and decent separation (albeit with little overall mass), but I think my hunger at the time had more to do with being a growing teenager. I probably never got below 15% at my leanest but I've heard a lot of people say beneath about 12, you're hungry all the time.
    I’m like 13-14% as a female and I’m never super hungry and if I am I just eat.... but I also might just be used to it. It’s not like I cut down to a low bf I just am always low
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    Had posted this link before in another thread, but seems to be addressing your question
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s8I...ePeriodization
    If I recall correctly, Israetel here claims it's very hard to do so at 10% and *maybe* possible at 12%
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    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by astrocoyote View Post
    Had posted this link before in another thread, but seems to be addressing your question
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s8I...ePeriodization
    If I recall correctly, Israetel here claims it's very hard to do so at 10% and *maybe* possible at 12%
    He's talking about gaintaining though. I'm talking about maingaining.

    Just playing, I'm watching the video
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    He's talking about gaintaining though. I'm talking about maingaining.

    Just playing, I'm watching the video
    To be honest, I think all the current talk about 'gaintaining/maingaining' is really just overcomplicating things...

    Greg Doucette has seriously muddied the waters with his obsession over it... it's kind of annoying to me.


    Get to a BF you're happy with... then eat enough to feel good, NOT hungry, energized, and don't gain fat more quickly than you feel is acceptable... but, also don't get SO focused on the details that you freak out over a little water weight or (GASP!!) even some bodyfat...

    It's not that big of a deal.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    He's talking about gaintaining though. I'm talking about maingaining.

    Just playing, I'm watching the video
    Haha, for a moment I thought you were being serious :P
    Yeah, he does Not seem to be an overall fan of the method as you will probably see.

    All I know is it seems to be working great for me lately, but I have a BF% at high teens, so that's expected. I just wish I had done it sooner.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    To be honest, I think all the current talk about 'gaintaining/maingaining' is really just overcomplicating things...

    Greg Doucette has seriously muddied the waters with his obsession over it... it's kind of annoying to me.


    Get to a BF you're happy with... then eat enough to feel good, NOT hungry, energized, and don't gain fat more quickly than you feel is acceptable... but, also don't get SO focused on the details that you freak out over a little water weight or (GASP!!) even some bodyfat...

    It's not that big of a deal.
    Right. All it comes down to is progressive overload. If you're progressing, you're gaining muscle.
    That day when you no longer have to photoshop your gains.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    To be honest, I think all the current talk about 'gaintaining/maingaining' is really just overcomplicating things...

    Greg Doucette has seriously muddied the waters with his obsession over it... it's kind of annoying to me.


    Get to a BF you're happy with... then eat enough to feel good, NOT hungry, energized, and don't gain fat more quickly than you feel is acceptable... but, also don't get SO focused on the details that you freak out over a little water weight or (GASP!!) even some bodyfat...

    It's not that big of a deal.
    some of the posts here by guys make me laugh when they think they gained 2 lbs over night and it’s just water. If they had a period and put on 5 lbs every month for a week, they’d die lol
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    I’m like 13-14% as a female and I’m never super hungry and if I am I just eat.... but I also might just be used to it. It’s not like I cut down to a low bf I just am always low
    Yeah..I have no problem maintaining 10-12%. As long as I keep protein high, I’m not hungry. But I also will just eat more at the end of the day if I do feel hungrier than normal.
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    Originally Posted by George2100 View Post
    Yeah..I have no problem maintaining 10-12%. As long as I keep protein high, I’m not hungry. But I also will just eat more at the end of the day if I do feel hungrier than normal.
    and fiber for me lots of fruit and veggies. I eat quite a bit more than .8 grams of protein per lb of body weight
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    and fiber for me lots of fruit and veggies. I eat quite a bit more than .8 grams of protein per lb of body weight
    Yup haha I eat 1.5g per lb. lots of fruits,veggies, and beans help keep me full too
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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    some of the posts here by guys make me laugh when they think they gained 2 lbs over night and it’s just water. If they had a period and put on 5 lbs every month for a week, they’d die lol
    It really does erk me...

    I understand people not wanting to be like 25% bodyfat as a dude... but seriously... NOBODY here is going to accidentally become morbidly obese..

    The level of mental gymnastics people try and do with predicting macros down to the fraction of a gram, obsessing over a TDEE of like 2,657.123098 calories....

    Feeling the need to always compensate for every calorie they consume and try to match their Apple Watch... I just don't get it.

    Nobody had this stuff decades ago, and people have been able to gain muscle and not get obese throughout those times.



    As a general rule, people tend to KNOW if they're losing weight...

    people tend to KNOW if they're over-eating...

    and people tend to know if they're AROUND their TDEE... which is really all you need.
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    Gaintaining Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    It's been shown that bulking only increases the rate of muscle gain
    Even that hasn't been shown in a study.

    My question is, if you're already at a low bodyfat, is it damn near impossible to recomp provided that you're a beginner/intermediate?
    You just need to make sure you're eating enough to make consistent progress on your lifts on a good program.

    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    If you're progressing, you're gaining muscle.
    I would add: In the medium rep ranges, when lifting with sufficient volume.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    The myth of not being able to gain muscle and lose fat has been debunked many times. It's been shown that bulking only increases the rate of muscle gain, but is not a requirement. My question is, if you're already at a low bodyfat, is it damn near impossible to recomp provided that you're a beginner/intermediate?
    Bottom line is recomp is difficult to be successful at and the leaner you are the difficulty factor goes up with every % drop in BF
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Bottom line is recomp is difficult to be successful at and the leaner you are the difficulty factor goes up with every % drop in BF
    If you are say 15% and beginner/intermediate, recomping should work pretty well no?
    That day when you no longer have to photoshop your gains.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    If you are say 15% and beginner/intermediate, recomping should work pretty well no?
    If your nutrition is correct
    If your training is correct
    If your sleep habits are correct
    If your genetics are correct

    And if you don't mind mind numbing, painfully slow progress in either direction with subpar results in both directions

    Besides those factors, yeah piece of cake
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    If you are say 15% and beginner/intermediate, recomping should work pretty well no?
    It can definitely work well. Anyone who claims differently isn't aware of the science on the topic. And the claim that it would lead to slower progress isn't backed up by science.

    Here are some recomping examples in the literature, you can check the speed of the progress:

    Obese beginners gained ~10 pounds of lean body mass while dropping ~16 pounds of fat in 14 weeks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9309627

    Lean beginners gained ~7 pounds of lean body mass while losing ~6 pounds of fat in 10 weeks: http://jap.physiology.org/content/85/2/695.full

    Athletes gained ~2 pounds of lean body mass while dropping ~10 pounds of fat in ~8 weeks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21558571

    Experienced lifters gained ~3.3 pounds of fat free mass while losing ~3.5 pounds of fat in 8 weeks: http://www.jissn.com/content/12/1/39
    Last edited by Mrpb; 01-15-2021 at 12:30 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    If your nutrition is correct
    If your training is correct
    If your sleep habits are correct
    If your genetics are correct

    And if you don't mind mind numbing, painfully slow progress in either direction with subpar results in both directions

    Besides those factors, yeah piece of cake
    Well ****, progress is naturally painfully slow even if bulking. I don't think being in a slight surplus compared to recomping over a year is THAT much better if you meet the right circumstances to recomp. You'd gain say 2 or so pounds of extra muscle in a slight surplus? So 12lbs in a surplus vs. 10lbs recomp. Visually you'd hardly tell the difference. Whose going to say no to 10lbs of muscle gain? Maybe if we compared gaining muscle in a deficit to bulking then yeah you'd have a bigggg difference there. Then you'd gain maybe a quarter of what you gained in a slight surplus. It doesn't take very long out of one's total lifespan to tap out their gains either. So if you get there 6-12 months slower than someone who went fully optimal, who cares? As long as you're natural, a few years is all it takes and then you're more or less -finito-.
    Last edited by Animal2692; 01-15-2021 at 12:40 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    The level of mental gymnastics people try and do with predicting macros down to the fraction of a gram, obsessing over a TDEE of like 2,657.123098 calories....
    Guilty as charged!! hahaha! One day I won't need to Adam.......

    one day..

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    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    some of the posts here by guys make me laugh when they think they gained 2 lbs over night and it’s just water. If they had a period and put on 5 lbs every month for a week, they’d die lol
    If you have read some of ops other posts, you would think he was on a constant period
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Well ****, progress is naturally painfully slow even if bulking. I don't think being in a slight surplus compared to recomping over a year is THAT much better if you meet the right circumstances to recomp. You'd gain say 2 or so pounds of extra muscle in a slight surplus? So 12lbs in a surplus vs. 10lbs recomp. Visually you'd hardly tell the difference. Whose going to say no to 10lbs of muscle gain? Maybe if we compared gaining muscle in a deficit to bulking then yeah you'd have a bigggg difference there. Then you'd gain maybe a quarter of what you gained in a slight surplus. It doesn't take very long out of one's total lifespan to tap out their gains either. So if you get there 6-12 months slower than someone who went fully optimal, who cares? As long as you're natural, a few years is all it takes and then you're more or less -finito-.
    If you meet the right circumstances as you say.. that’s a big IF and recomp isn’t just this thing that everyone is successful at however a decent deficit will always cause fairly rapid fatloss and a slight surplus will give you a better chance of gaining muscle quicker rather than eating at maintenance or being in a slight deficit and chasing a recomp.
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    Originally Posted by illpinoise View Post
    Guilty as charged!! hahaha! One day I won't need to Adam.......

    one day..

    You don’t ‘need’ to, you’re choosing to ;-)
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    It can definitely work well. Anyone who claims differently isn't aware of the science on the topic. And the claim that it would lead to slower progress isn't backed up by science.

    Here are some recomping examples in the literature, you can check the speed of the progress:

    Obese beginners gained ~10 pounds of lean body mass while dropping ~16 pounds of fat in 14 weeks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9309627

    Lean beginners gained ~7 pounds of lean body mass while losing ~6 pounds of fat in 10 weeks: http://jap.physiology.org/content/85/2/695.full

    Athletes gained ~2 pounds of lean body mass while dropping ~10 pounds of fat in ~8 weeks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21558571

    Experienced lifters gained ~3.3 pounds of fat free mass while losing ~3.5 pounds of fat in 8 weeks: http://www.jissn.com/content/12/1/39
    Absolutely, and I've personally observed this more than a few times after a period of not training and not watching the diet. A slight deficit (~200) and a proper training program, and the gain actually outpaces the fat loss, leading to a very noticeable change in composition with a very slow weight loss over the first 6-8 weeks. After that some more tweaking is needed to continue leaning out, but maintaining it is very easy.
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    Originally Posted by 3maj View Post
    Absolutely, and I've personally observed this more than a few times after a period of not training and not watching the diet. A slight deficit (~200) and a proper training program, and the gain actually outpaces the fat loss, leading to a very noticeable change in composition with a very slow weight loss over the first 6-8 weeks. After that some more tweaking is needed to continue leaning out, but maintaining it is very easy.
    Be aware that losing some fat will uncover existing muscle giving the appearance of more muscle. In a large percentage of people that think they’re recomping they’re just uncovering what is already there. By maintaining muscle and losing fat you are changing body composition for the better.

    And then you have people in that situation that have laid off of training for a bit and start again and lifts start going up and thinking it’s adding muscle when it’s actually CNS adaption.
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