Can you gain muscle and burn fat at the same time?
incredulity is nice, however it’s turning into pessimism that’s killing the spirit of exercising to continually keep rising and continually push the boundaries. The nihilism that nothing matters has taken the which means that nothing works. once nothing works, nothing is feasible. If someone gains muscle throughout their contest schoolwork, he’s at once suspect of steroid use. That’s as a result of many of us believe you can not build muscle and burn fat at identical time. Others say it’s in theory potential, however it won’t ever happen in anyone however absolute beginners and steroid users. And nonetheless others say body composition programs area unit the simplest thanks to progress and you shouldn’t cut or bulk as a natural lifter.
Why some people say body recomposition is impossible?
Before we move on, let’s see why it’s so difficult to achieve simultaneous fat loss and muscle gains.
Fat loss depends on a caloric deficit. Only when the body no longer receives enough energy from food will it start to burn body fat for fuel.
On the other hand, muscle growth is maximized only when the body receives a slight caloric surplus. When we feed the body more nutrients than it needs for maintenance and repair, it can use the surplus of nutrients to create new tissue (muscle and/or fat). Eating a surplus of calories is the only way to gain weight.
You can see what the problem is. These two goals are almost completely opposite. Eating less than maintenance is necessary for fat loss but doesn’t support muscle. It causes a decrease in protein synthesis rates, reduces anabolic hormones, and negatively affects training performance. A caloric deficit creates a predominantly catabolic environment (break down of tissue) and gaining weight and muscle requires a predominantly anabolic environment (build up of tissue).
At first glance you’d also be tempted to say it’s impossible to have both at the same time.
But it is possible in certain situations. Let’s look at each body recomposition scenario individually to explain why.
Why Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle is Tricky?
the reason why many people think building muscle and losing fat at the same time is an unimaginable dream has to do with something called “protein biosynthesis” or “protein synthesis.”
Every day, your cells experience “maintenance work” whereby damaged, faulty, and debauched cells are wiped out and new cells are created to take their place.
Protein synthesis refers to the creation of new cells and protein degradation refers to the elimination of unwanted ones.
Under normal health and dietary conditions, muscle tissue is fairly Resistant and the cycle of cellular regeneration remains balanced.
That is, the average person doesn’t lose or gain muscle at an accelerated rate–his or her lean mass more or less remains level on a day-to-day basis. (If we don’t take actions to stop it, we actually slowly lose lean mass as we age, but you get the point.)
Now, when we train our muscles we damage the cells in the muscle fibers, and this signals the body to increase protein synthesis rates to repair the damage.
“The first law of thermodynamics”
You’ve most likely heard somebody contend that accomplishing muscle development and fat misfortune around the same time is physically inconceivable as a result of thermodynamics. The contention goes as takes after.
- To build muscle, you must store energy. To lose fat, you must burn energy.
- When you are in energy overflow, your body stores energy. When you are in a deficit and
- Therefore, you must be in energy surplus to gain muscle and in a deficit to lose fat.
The fact about Body Recomposition
The truth is you CAN drop body fat and gain muscle at the same time. BUT the rate at which you can do it depends very much on your training experience and the body fat percentage you start with.
There are only 4 situations in which you can lose a lot of fat and gain a significant amount of muscle simultaneously in a short period of time:
- Fat Beginners (above 18% body fat) and Out-of-shape Beginners (13%-18% body fat)
- People who return to weightlifting after a layoff
- People who have been eating and training incorrectly for a long time and switch to a good nutrition and training program
- People on steroids
The Chances of Success of each Body Recomposition assumption
Scenario A. You lose weight but you gain muscle at the same time.
The most common scenario for body recomposition is Losing Weight and Gaining Muscle at the same time.
Almost all out-of-shape beginners can do this without much effort. When working with beginner clients I actually believe this to be normal. Even some intermediates can gain muscle and strength while cutting if they start from a higher body fat percentage.
Fat is basically stored energy so even in the case of a caloric deficit, a high body fat percentage ensures pretty good energy availability.That means the energy obtained from body fat may actually support muscle growth in the first few weeks or months of training.
scenario B.You preserve your weight but you replace an equal amount of body fat with muscle mass over a long period of time.
At the intermediate and advanced level the most common body recomposition scenario is that where you maintain your weight but lose fat and build muscle at the same time over a long period of time. An intermediate might gain two pounds (1 kg) of muscle and lose two pounds of fat over a period of 3-5 months while maintaining his weight.
The reason for that is because the rate of muscle growth is much slower than the rate of fat loss. For example 12 lbs (~5kg) of fat can be dropped in 7-8 weeks but building 12 pounds of muscle might take a year or more at the intermediate level.
scenario C. You gain weight but you lose fat at the same time.
And finally, the scenario of body recomposition that almost never happens is gaining weight and losing fat at the same time. I’ve seen stories where people apparently did it, but I never met or talked to someone who did.
The people who pull this off are usually those who return to lifting after a layoff. It is much easier to restore atrophied muscle than it is to build it in the first place. Muscle memory is real so these people will see rapid muscle growth with no body fat gain or sometimes loss of body fat when they resume lifting.
“The Bottom Line on Building Muscle and Losing Fat at the Same Time”
Building muscle and losing fat doesn’t require that you follow complex diets or training programs.
Smart, consistent application of the fundamentals of muscle growth and fat loss is all it takes.
So, to recap, here’s what it boils down to:
- Maintain a moderately aggressive calorie deficit (with proper macros)
- Emphasize heavy, compound lifting in your weightlifting workouts
- Do no more than 2 hours of HIIT cardio per week
- Get plenty of sleep
- Use the right supplements to speed up the process
And your body will take care of the rest.
Gaining muscle on a weight loss diet is not only possible, it should be expected for most people on a serious program. As long as the stimulus for muscle growth is carefully designed and customized, your body will find a way to get bigger. Your body is not the enemy. It is a miraculous survival machine that adapts to the stress you impose on it. When you understand it, you can control it.
So screw the naysayers. When you don’t believe what you want is possible, you have defeated yourself before you even began.