Breeding leaner pigs during the last decades may have changed pig’s empty body (EB) composition, a key trait for elaborating feeding recommendations. This research aimed to provide new experimental data on changes in the chemical composition of the EB of pigs from 20 to 140 kg BW. In addition, the impact of a reduction in the dietary CP associated with lower lysine, methionine+cystine, threonine and tryptophan levels was determined. In total, 48 males, castrates and females weighing 20 kg BW were allocated either to a control grower–finisher diet formulated according to current Swiss feeding recommendations, or a low CP grower–finisher diet (80% of control). Feed intake was monitored and pigs were weighed weekly. The chemical composition of EB (blood, hairs and hoofs, offals, bile, carcass) was determined at 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 140 kg BW on four pigs per gender and diet (eight pigs per gender at 20 kg). The five fractions were weighed and samples were analysed for dry matter, protein, fat and energy. Nutrient deposition rates and N efficiency were calculated by using the 20 kg BW category as reference. Analysis revealed an accurate feed optimisation for the aforementioned essential amino acids (EAA), whereas digestible isoleucine content in the low CP diet was at 70% of the control diet. Despite similar feed intake, daily gain and feed efficiency were impaired (P<0.01) from 20 to 100 kg BW in the low CP compared with the control pigs. In the same growth period, castrates had the greatest feed intake but, together with females, displayed the lowest (P<0.01) feed efficiency. Protein deposition was reduced (P<0.01) by up to 31% with low CP diet and was lower (P<0.01) in castrates and females than males at 100 kg BW. The greatest fat deposition rates were found with low CP diet and castrates. N efficiency improved (P<0.05) by 10% with the low CP diet from 100 to 140 kg. The males displayed the greatest (P<0.05) N efficiency. These findings suggest that the CP content of finisher II diets could be reduced to 102, 102 and 104 g/kg for females, castrates and males, respectively, without a negative impact on protein deposition or growth. It remains unclear whether the negative effects found in the BW range from 20 to 100 kg on the EB deposition were due to the 20% reduction of the dietary CP and the five limiting EAA or to other EAA via an unbalanced EAA profile.