To gain muscle and burn body fat at the same time is seen as the holy grail for many. However, is this really possible? In this blog I will delve into whether it can be done, including some easy tips that are essential, and looking into whether there is a better way to optimise muscle gain.
Most of us all want to look better naked and feel better in our own skin.
I think that’s fair to say.
For many, that means to look the way they want to look, they will need to lose body fat and gain muscle.
Can this be done at the same time?
Yes it can, but it isn’t easy. However, if you follow these tips within this blog, you have a better chance of achieving this and getting that dream body you want.
To lose body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit and be consistent over time. For more info on how to implement this, check out my recent blog where I give the top diet tips for fat loss.
Within this blog I will focus more on how to gain muscle whilst in a calorie deficit and therefore losing body fat.
Below are four things that will need to be in place for you to gain muscle whilst losing body fat. The fifth tip may just switch a lightbulb on for you and your goals of muscle gain.
Have a training plan
It staggers me the amount of guys and girls I see in the gym who want to gain muscle but don’t have a training plan that they follow every week. Just going in and making up their sessions on the spot every week is not good enough. To gain muscle, you need to be progressive with your training volume, and to be in a position to do this you need to have data on how much you are currently doing. This is where a consistent training plan is essential to gain muscle. You can look to add some extra load, sets or reps over time which will enable you to gain muscle whilst in that calorie deficit. At later stages of a diet it can be harder to do this but for most people this should be possible for a decent period of a diet.
If you don’t have a training plan in place to help you gain muscle then don’t fret. We have just released our new Team Box 8 week training plans. Why not get one to really optimise your goals and gain muscle?
Eating enough protein
When you want to gain muscle, you need to remember what weights training does. It essentially breaks down muscle tissue and then rebuilds it. To gain muscle, eating enough protein is vital as muscle tissue is made up of proteins. If you don’t eat enough protein and your body can’t rebuild the broken down tissue, you won’t be able to gain muscle. Of course to gain muscle you will need the other macronutrients in different amounts, but total daily protein is an essential driver you need to understand.
So to gain muscle how much protein should you eat?
I would advise anywhere from 2.0-3.0 grams of protein per KG/BW. So a 80kg guy should eat anywhere from 160-240g of protein a day to be in a good position to gain muscle. This should then be split across the day into 4-6 servings a day ideally. I suggest one of these servings within 1-2 hours post training and then another one just before bed. Do this and you will be able to tick off another key component to help you gain muscle.
Work damn hard
Ok, for some this maybe obvious but the reality is a lot of people don’t train hard enough to see any results in their quest to gain muscle. Muscle mass is expense for your body. It requires calories and protein to maintain it so if you want to add more, you better give a damn good reason for your body to grow it. The reason needs to be balls to the walls hard and consistent training. To gain muscle, you need to put your body under stress. Stress. Think about what that word means to you. Uncomfortable, not something you may enjoy and something that can cause pain.
Hopefully the penny has dropped in that your training needs to be just this if you want to gain muscle. Particularly if you are dieting. You will really need to work hard to stand any chance of adding muscle whilst in a calorie deficit. Deloads and RPE are all valid things to consider, but only if you train hard enough to warrant them being applicable to you.
This leads on from the last point very nicely. To gain muscle, you not only need that optimal training plan, you need to work damn hard but also be consistent with this. It means nothing to train hard and use your training plan over 4 weeks. To gain muscle it needs to be much longer than this. Muscle gain is a slow process and you need lots of patience to see results; and when dieting this is definitely the case. For substantial muscle gain, there will come a time within your period of fat loss that your goals to gain muscle whilst losing body fat will become impossible.
Why is this?
Because you won’t be able to push your loads as much as you don’t have the energy and also potentially some of the protein you consume will be used as fuel and not to rebuild muscle tissue.
So, what should you do at this stage?
The best way to gain muscle
Although it is possible to gain muscle whilst losing body fat at the same time, there will come a time when you want to be more efficient with your muscle gain goals. Once you have lost the body fat you want to lose you may look in the mirror and actually be surprised that you don’t have as much muscle mass as you thought. More of it was body fat than you first thought which can be a bit depressing. Trust me I myself have been there.
What should you do at this stage?
Well to be most efficient working towards your goals to gain muscle, your best plan is to go in a small calorie surplus and to put your full focus on muscle gain. This will enable you to have much better levels of energy for your training so you can make that progression with your training we discussed earlier. You will also be able to relax knowing that all the protein you consume will be put to good use building that new muscle you want and remove any possibility of it being used for fuel. I would advise you then carry out all the points above; such as having a good training plan, eating enough protein, working hard and being consistent. If you follow this out you will be able to really see some good results.
Hopefully this blog has opened up your eyes to the fact it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time and what is needed to do so. But also that there maybe a better way to gain more muscle and be most optimal. Don’t forget to check out our new training plans, but if you want some more support for your muscle gain and fat loss goals, enquire for 1-2-1 coaching. You get a FREE 20 min phone consult to discuss your goals, so why not?
Also, click here to download this blog and also two FREE workout sessions for you to try.
Here’s to happy gains!