Originally Posted by Myriad
Currently I'm running a 500-600 calorie deficit, trying to lose extra fat. I've been watching my macros, but I'm new to this whole thing. I've been lifting and cardio about 5 days a week, but what I'm picking up from this thread is that I can't gain muscle if I'm running a deficit, even if I'm lifting and doing cardio? Is it a situation where you can pick up strength but not mass? I've been uping my bench, but according to this thread there's no way I can be getting stronger if I am running a deficit?
You are mistakenly assocating increasing your bench with building more muscle.
There was some study that showed that elite power lifters elicit roughly 300% more of a 'response' from a muscle fibre than a newbie does. So most people's initial gains are simply the byproduct of better CNS adaptations.
If you are trying to lose weight, lift heavy compounds 3-4x a week, ditch the cardio except for walking, and eat in a deficit. The fat will melt off.