Is It Possible To Lift Weights And Not Gain Muscle Bodybuilding, Can You Build Muscle On A Low Carb Diet?

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Bodybuilding, Can You Build Muscle On A Low Carb Diet?

One question that is often asked in the bodybuilding world is whether or not you can effectively build muscle while following a low-carb diet approach.

Low carb diets have been all the rage lately for those looking to lose weight because they generally help control hunger levels better and some people find it much easier to follow.

But what about when it comes to building muscle? Is a low carb muscle building nutrition program a smart approach? Let’s look a little further.

Ketosis

One very important thing to keep in mind is that if you get your carbs low enough while on a low carb diet, you can enter a state called ketosis. This is when the body will switch from running on carbohydrates as fuel to running on fat instead.

The big problem with ketosis is that it is also generally associated with being in a catabolic state, so will almost always be detrimental to building muscle.

If you​​​​are not in ketosis, this is okay because your body can still be anabolic (build muscle) assuming a caloric surplus is given.

To stay out of ketosis on a low carb diet, be sure to consume at least 100 grams of carbs each day (this is what is needed to fuel the brain when you are not in ketosis) and then any extra carbs which are necessary for you to keep workouts).

Energy and intense exercise

The next issue that needs to be addressed when going on a low-carb diet is how it will affect your energy levels. Some people feel good on a lower carb approach, while others do not. Since when you’re trying to build muscle, you want to do very intense workouts, you can’t let your energy levels down.

In addition, the body needs carbohydrates to lift weight effectively (because fat cannot be used as fuel for this time of movement), therefore you will be required to eat carbohydrates in the pre- and post-workout periods (to to replenish muscle glycogen), or do a weekly carb load to give your muscles the carbohydrates they need to function during the week.

Reduced Rate Of Fat Gain

However, one of the pluses of a lower carb approach may be your ability to better control how much fat is added to the body.

Because fat and protein have minimal effect on insulin levels, and insulin is the driving hormone that causes fat storage, you may find that you gain a greater proportion of muscle on a lower carb building program than if you went higher carb. .

Note that it still comes down to total calories. You simply cannot consume thousands of excess calories per day from fat and not expect to gain fat weight. We still have to look at that realistically.

So, there is definitely a place in bodybuilding for low carb diets assuming that:

1. You provide at least 100 grams of carbohydrates per day plus any extra needed to support training

2. You eat carbs in the pre/post workout period or choose to do a big weekly carb-up

3. You find that you are not completely drained on this type of diet and are still able to lift weight effectively.

If all these factors are in line, then yes, you can build muscle while using a low-carb diet.

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