As far I understand, typical muscle growth from excercise occurs as follows: - cause microdamage in muscles with heavy excercise - microdamage is repaired by your body and a bit of extra muscle tissue growth in the process

My question: can the repair process be disrupted leading to LESS muscle being restored than was lost? For example, if ones diet is very poor in protein and/or calories?

2 Answers 2


So when you starve your muscles, due to a lack of Protein. Your body enters a Catabolic State. When you have low Protein intake or food in General, your body breaks down the muscle tissue to get its energy it is NOT getting from Food. Catabolism is the destructive state of Metabolism. This being the opposite of an Anabolic state which is the building process.

This in-turn will reduce strength. If your body is using muscle to keep itself going you reduce the fibers you worked so hard to build. It breaks it down and oxidizes it for energy. When you have a High Protein Diet you can still maintain muscle while reducing body fat. Even under extreme workout conditions. Those extreme workouts will require you to up your Protein and/or Carb intake to provide the body with enough Energy.

You want to try and avoid entering this Catabolic State by eating properly to avoid not only mental starvation but, the physical detriment to your muscle tissue.


In my experience after experimenting with various diets and workout routines, I've discovered that it IS possible to lose strength while exercising, however, only temporarily.

There will be a certain factor that will contribute to your weakness (lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition etc.). Once that factor is removed, you'll naturally regain your old strength if you stick to the same program.

In other words, if you're not getting enough rest, you'll notice your lifts getting harder and harder to perform in the gym. At one point, maybe you'll have to reduce the weights altogether. But once you get enough rest (deload week or a few days completely off), you'll be as strong, if not stronger than before.

Nonetheless, it's not recommended to exercise like this (with some limiting factor), since it leads to much faster injuries and slows down progress too. It's not sustainable.

So in short, yes, it is possible to lose strength from exercises, but regaining that strength is easy (excluding injuries of course)

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