I recently read an article about how to build muscle and lose fat at the same time and it really struck a chord with me. You see, there are two competing schools of thought when we think about losing weight and building muscle. For example, it is logical to assume to lose weight you will need to eat fewer calories then you burn, and be the same token, to build muscle you would need to consume more calories than you burn, right?
That makes sense until you get an introduction to Body Re-composition. This is when you are changing your physique by burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time, which is a different approach to the standard health and fitness weight loss and muscle gain mindset.
Even some folk who have heard of the Body Re-composition find the idea difficult to swallow simply because it’s set in stone that reducing body fat needs a reduction in calories and muscle building requires an increase. To some, this is an unresolvable dichotomy.
Happily, for us, our bodies are pretty smart so provided you treat yourself with respect and learn what and when to eat, and train, then your body will reward you with good results.
What Is Body Re-composition
Video Courtesy of Jeff Nippard
In its simplest terms, body re-composition is how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time by understanding the body’s fat percentage and lean mass percentage.
A really good way to start thinking about body re-composition is to forget weight loss, it’s not about that. The process will see you maintain or even increase weight but lose fat because muscle weighs more than fat as it’s denser than fat tissue. So, the more muscle mass gained the more weight gained, but you are still losing fat, so toss out the scales and get to know the tape measure because your physique is reforming.
Just imagine weighing the same but wearing a size smaller clothes and feeling strong and energized.
The more technical way of saying this is that the body composition is the ratio of fat mass to lean mass which is sometimes used interchangeably with body fat percentage which is just one part of the puzzle.
Basically the lean mass is muscle, bones, ligaments, tendons, organs, other tissues, and water and the Body recomposition is the name of the process that changes the ratio of the fat mass and the lean mass to reduce the fat and increase the lean simultaneously. So, no drastic weight loss, and no bulking up meaning no starving or overeating.
The Down Side
Like all things, with no pain comes no gain. You are basically doing two training programs at the same time so it’s going to be a slow burn, meaning you need to accept you in this for the long haul. It’s a slow process but with slow steady work and sticking to healthy habits you will see a new physique and increased strength, stamina, and everything that goes with it.
How Does Body Re-composition Work
You have decided to change your physique and told yourself you are dedicated to the process. Depending on your overall aims there are no strict rules, more basic guidelines.
As stated previously it’s not about diets to lose or gain or crazy workouts, it’s a slow burn.
For fat loss =Cardiovascular exercise
Muscle building =Resistance (weight) training
Fat Loss =Overall decrease in calorie consumption
Muscle formation =Increased protein intake
This is ultimately down to maintaining good calorie intake, eating fewer than you burn, and combining that with cardiovascular and resistance exercise
How To Build The Muscle
Building muscle requires a focus on strength training and correct consumption. Strength training or resistance training means you push the muscles to fatigue and beyond while watching your protein consumption, and you must consume more calories than you burn to promote muscle growth.
When carrying out strength training you are challenging your muscles in order to make them grow, and the protein is vitally important to the building as it repairs the muscle tissues that are damaged during weight/strength training. Basically, the damage caused by training means additional muscle is built to repair any damage, so essentially muscle building is making damage that is repaired by scar tissue or additional muscle.
In studies, it has been proven a high-protein diet can help with losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time due to the ability of proteins to build muscle. Meaning following a strength training program with increased protein intake leads to better body composition.
Surprisingly, it’s not a strick regime but more of an overall concept where guidelines rather than rules apply. It’s really about cycling or modifying your calorie and macronutrient intake to match your daily goals.
In list form, the routine would look something like this
1. Understand your maintenance calories which are the number of calories you burn on a non-exercise day. You can ask a personal trainer, dietitian, or another health professional, but just as easily use an online calorie calculator like this one.
2. Cardio workout days you should consume enough calories to meet your maintenance level. This is putting you in a slight calorie deficit to promote fat loss but not enough that your body using muscle tissue as fuel.
3. Strength training days train for 30 minutes and take more calories than your maintenance but focus on protein intake.
4. On rest days eat slightly less than your maintenance calories.
The basic overview is that every day you consume that your body needs to deal with and your body has three options.
1. Burn calories now for fuel
2. Use to repair muscle damage
3. Store as fat
The Take Away
Clearly storing as fat is not something we want. We want to use new calories to repair damage caused to muscles during strength training so eat more protein on training days, and fewer calories on cardio training days. Finally, on your rest day eat just less than your maintenance requirements.
By combining these processes you will successfully achieve body recomposition.
As we age the harder we find it to maintain our energy and strength due to the reduction in hormone release, but there is a natural way to increase the hormone levels to help regain strength, stamina, and much more. Combined with a healthy intake (diet) and a healthy workout plan it’s possible to take years off your age and stay fit and healthy for longer healthier life. Learn more by reading my Genf20 review.
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