Compensatory growth (CG) is a naturally occurring physiological process whereby an animal has the ability to undergo enhanced growth following a period of restricted feeding. This studies objective was to identify key proteins involved in the expression of CG. Forty Holstein Friesian bulls were equally assigned to one of four groups. R1 and R2 groups were subjected to restricted feed allowance for 125 days (Period 1). A1 and A2 animals had ad libitum access to feed in Period 1. Following Period 1, all animals from R1 and A1 were slaughtered. Remaining animals (R2 and A2) were slaughtered following ad libitum access to feed for successive 55 days (Period 2). M. longissimus dorsi samples were collected at slaughter from all animals. Proteins were isolated from samples and subjected to label-free mass spectrometry proteomic quantification. Proteins which were differentially abundant during CG (n = 39) were involved in cellular binding processes, oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial function. There was also evidence for up regulation of three pathways involved in nucleotide biosynthesis. Genetic variants in or regulating genes pertaining to proteins identified in this study may hold potential for use as DNA based biomarkers for genomic selection of animals with a greater ability to undergo CG.