When it comes to building muscles there are different ways to achieve this.
A term called body recomposition describes the process of losing fat and building muscles simultaneously. We all store some form of fat in our body and the last thing we want to do is lose muscle in the process of losing fat as well. The right combination of exercise and strategy for feeding the body is going to help you achieve this.
Athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters and celebrities have been using body recomposition techniques for a long time. Think of the transformation that Chris Pratt (actor in Marvel movies and Guardian of the Galaxy) who went from being on the heavy side to a much more defined and toned figure.
Keep in mind Chris Pratt had a trainer and nutritionists to help him achieve the desired body. So please do seek any medical or professional fitness advice especially if you have medical conditions that may affect or harm you in any way before embarking on diets or exercise routines. Being able to achieve a desired body and doing it in a healthy way is way more important than following some type of fad diet that promises to get you there fast.
Can you lose fat while gaining muscles at the same time?
People may argue it’s impossible to gain muscles while losing fat simultaneously under any circumstance. It is achievable when applying the right techniques along with a balanced diet and workouts however it may take longer but the effects are much longer lasting.
Basics Of Body Recomposition
You know those 6 pack abs you see on bodies?
To achieve that it is defined by the amount of body fat you hold. You can expect an obese person to hold more body fat (also known as body mass index – BMI) compared to a leaner individual. However it doesn’t mean a skinnier person doesn’t have body fat. There is such a thing as skinny fat. The goal is to maintain a well balanced diet that reduces calories with a decent amount of protein. And have a consistent routine that consists of weight lifting, high intensity and resistance training
More muscles burn fat
Building muscles allows you to burn more calories during time you are not working out. Including addition benefits such as:
- Increases your metabolic rate
- Increases bone density
- Enhances strength and stability and endurance
- Improve and increase energy and vitality
Men lose 3-5% muscle after the age of 30 according to a Harvard study. Which is why it is not uncommon to see men heading towards middle aged (and over) develop a bigger size with a rounder belly.
Should I Build Muscle Or Lose Fat First?
It will depend on the body shape you have right now. To ensure you’re doing the right thing it is also recommended you seek the right medical or professional advice for your situation.
Most people fit into two categories.
Overweight or obese
- If you are overweight then opt for fat loss with a calorie deficit diet and more cardio
Lean body type and hard to put on weight
- For a more leaner body type your aim is to increase calorie intake as well as resistance training and weight lifting and lesser cardio workouts. Click here to read “How to Bulk Up Fast”
The body needs the energy during strength training and it is important to maintain a healthy diet replenish that after workouts.
Diet and Training
Including foods that are high in fibre and protein (including protein powders and supplements) is vital to growing muscles and muscle repair especially after workouts. Avoiding foods high in sugar, highly processed and rich in carbohydrates reduces body fats especially around the stomach. It reduces fat or insulin storage in the pancreas area which reduces the risk of diabetes.
Strength training along with weight lifting and interval training or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the way to go for building muscles and losing fat fast. Using body weight, additional weights (weight machines or free weights) and resistance bands adds an increased level of resistance as your body builds more strength.
How Long Does It Take For Body Recomposition?
The process can take a period of 8-12 weeks for you to start noticing the results. By results, I mean your family members and friends starting to comment about your physical transformation.
However, depending on your body and commitment to recomposition process techniques, you can start noticing the changes even in 28 days. Also, noticeable results may take up to 6 months if your body has a higher percentage of fat and a low percentage of lean muscles when beginning the recomposition process.
Keep in mind that this is a guideline, but the actual time will depend on the specific circumstances such as the diet and exercises during the recomposition process. The vital thing is to stick to the diet and exercises, knowing that you can drastically lose your body fat and build lean muscles in less than 6 months.
In summary the way to achieve the desired body shape is not to lose the overall body weight but to try to maintain the weight with toned muscles and reduce body fat. It is not always suitable for everyone to start with body composition as we all have different body types.
Combining strength/resistance training and high-intensity interval training along with a high nutrition diet will help you lose the fat mass and help you achieve the desired results.