When it comes to building muscle and losing fat simultaneously, there's always a question on its possibility. So is "build muscle and lose fat simultaneously" a myth or can it actually be done? Let's explore the facts behind it!
To answer the question first – Yes, it is possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. But if you ask is it easy, then, not as easy as a general fitness routine is. It’s a known fact in the world of fitness and bodybuilding that during the muscle building phase one takes a protein-rich diet, and the caloric amount is high when bulking. However, when you want to lose fat, the number of calories are lowered and the training sessions are designed accordingly.
Then how does one build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
Well, there is some called DTP and also HIIT. But before we understand that, let’s understand the basic concept of muscle building and fat loss.
What is Muscle Building?
Muscle Building is quite simple in its definition, i.e. you gain weight in terms of lean muscle mass. To do this, not only does one have to train correctly but also consume the right foods and supplements. Building anything requires an excess of materials and in this case, you need calories. Some need a little, some need few; depending on their genetics but one thing that is certain is you need to be above maintenance. So if my maintenance calories are 2000, then I will gain weight at 2500 calories. Whether that is fat or muscle, depends on your protein intake and training frequency.
To build muscle ensure that you are in a caloric surplus and working out at least 4-5 days a week. In addition to this ensure that your body, as a general rule of thumb, is getting 1gram per pound of lean body mass as protein. Opt for leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast and turkey and do not forget to supplement with whey protein and glutamine, if needed.
Top Muscle Building Supplements
What is Fat Loss?
Fat loss is the other side of the coin whereby you are trying to preserve your lean body mass and reducing weight, ideally in terms of body fat. To think you will only lose body fat is a far-fetched idea and some muscle loss will also occur. This can, however, be reduced by supplementing with BCAA’s and keeping your protein higher still. For fat loss, it is optimal to aim to lose 0.5 kg per week and again that would differ, based on your maintenance calories, for individuals.
Fat isn’t predisposed in one area, so do not even think that you can only reduce fat from a particular body part. For some, it might start at belly fat and for others, it will be last to go off. Optimal fat loss occurs with the right amount of weight training and cardio but uses this to only increase your caloric deficit, not create it. A fat burner can also help here same as a multivitamin because you would not be getting them from your diet.
Top Fat Loss Supplements
How to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously?
If you are a fitness & bodybuilding enthusiast, the chances are high that you must have heard about Kris Gethin and his DTP system. DTP stands for Dramatic Transformation Principle. You will be able to read about DTP and it’s application in detail in our next blog. But for a quick understanding – In DTP both high and low rep ranges are used. This helps you take advantage of both heavyweights and the light ones when it comes to muscle building. Similarly, training sets specially designed in DTP for fat loss and muscle building, help you acheive your desired results of burning calories and building muscle efficiently.
Also, under the expert supervision of a fitness trainer correct nutritional intake and application of the right kind of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you can achieve your difficult but possible goal to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
How can beginners and detrained individuals build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
Beginners by definition are individuals who have never experienced hypertrophy, meaning they do not have enough muscle for definition and/or size. This being said, the smallest resistance will affect them, meaning not only it’s a beginners’ guide to build muscles but training will actually help them lose fat at the same time. To do this, one must not have gone to the gym anytime before. This is what you should do:
- Calculate your maintenance calories. There are plenty of calculators on the internet that do so. Or ask us here
- Eat 100-200 calories below your maintenance
- Workout 3-4 days a week, full body 5×5 program
- Eat in a 40-40-20 ratio meaning your calories should be divided into 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fats. Opt for healthier choices like chicken breast, sweet potato, broccoli, olive oil etc.
With detrained individuals, the same concept applies. Their muscles have atrophied and because of muscle memory, you will gain your muscle and lose fat by being on a caloric deficit. Enhanced individuals can pretty much gain muscle while being at 5% bodyfat but then experience the side effects of anabolic steroids. This is a route I would not advise.
Choosing the best route for you
First of all, simultaneous muscle building and fat loss is not everybody’s fitness requirement. Like most, you can choose to take the two paths separately without getting involved in high-intensity workouts if not required. Choosing whether you want to build muscle or lose fat is quite simple actually. Firstly you would need to look at your body type and body fat. Analyze and get a thorough body composition done. If you are above 20% body fat, I would advise you cut first, and hence opt for fat loss. If you are an ectomorph or under 20% body fat, muscle building is the right option for you.
As you know, the food and supplementation are equally important by now so if you want to build muscle, remember to keep your protein and carbs high with moderate fats. Try to get most of your carbs post workout for maximum gaining. For fat loss, indulge in a high protein, low carb, and moderate fat diet and use the mirror as a benchmark, not the scale!