Reduced calories vs increased training volume
Do I create weight loss through increasing volume, decreasing calories or a combination of both?
As we all know, weight loss occurs as a result of an energy deficit (when you burn more energy than you consume). Simple maths right? Yep, but there’s always more to the equation than that so let’s look into it a bit more here today.
How you create that deficit, either through increasing training volume or decreasing the calories you eat can have an impactful affect on the results we experience.
Increasing your training volume is always my preferred choice as we still have an opportunity to supply the body with plenty of nutrients to contribute towards optimal health. The trouble with this is, there’s only so much we can increase volume by.
There’s only 7 days a week, so many hours per day and so much stimulus humans can recover from. So this tactic is slightly limited and reducing calories will have to be done at some point through the dieting phase.
Reducing calories is the most significant part of dieting and needs to be done correctly! Weight loss best occurs, mostly, when about a 20% deficit is created. If you go beyond that, you can actually inhibit the rate of results. You can push your body into stress, fatigue and trigger the sympathetic nervous system (a state where the body is in ‘fight or flight’) in this state, fat loss is impaired and we actually signal chemical pathways where fat gets stored rather than expelled.
Reducing calories also means we’re reducing the amount of vitamins and minerals that are essential for hundreds of bio-chemical reaction from protein synthesis to hormone regulation and fat loss!
I don’t like keeping my clients in a deficit for too long before we program in a diet break, a calorie deficit is a stress to the body and like we said, stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system.
Which option is the most effect?
This will always be determined by a number of factors from your genetic profile to a number of environmental factors.
How should I regulate this and when do I program in a diet break?
You should monitor and measure everything, sleep quality, performance in the gym, energy, mood, satiety, technique, fatigue, scale weight, bodyfat%, as soon as these factors start to deteriorate then it’s time to make a change.
Don’t starve the fat off and don’t burn yourself into the ground!
The best results come from balance and good health!
GVT (german volume training) is a very high demanding training style where you’ll need a massive recovery profile to support the adaptation process. I would suggest increasing your calories slightly to support your massive training volume otherwise you’re going to end up lifting less and less each week which is an environment for muscle loss.
You’re going to have to ensure you’re lifting more each week for there to be stimulus for adaptation (without enough stimulus there’s no need for the body to change) so measure everything and keep adjusting your calories until you get it right.
I’d also suggest putting a de-load week in the middle there as well. I don’t know any ‘natural’ athlete that could progressively overload GVT for 9 weeks straight.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.