Build muscle lose belly fat same time
I’ve been writing about diet and fitness since 2001. I’ve written countless articles about how to gain muscle, and countless articles about how to lose fat. But, if there is one question I still get asked more than anything else, it’s definitely this…
How do I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?
I must get this question emailed to me at least once per day by someone who wants to not only gain muscle or lose fat, but instead do BOTH. And not only that, they want to do both at the exact same time, and they want to know what diet and workout will best make it happen.
If you’re reading this, then you probably have the same goal in mind. You’re not interested in how to do one or the other, you want to know how to do both as quickly and effectively as possible.
So, let’s get it all figured out right now, starting with the biggest question of all…
Is It Possible To Do Both At The Same Time?
The honest answer to this question is both yes and no. Why? Because some people can do both simultaneously, and some people can’t. Here’s what I mean.
The following people ARE capable of gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time:
- People using “assistance” (meaning steroids).
- People who gained a lot of muscle at some point in their life but then stopped working out and lost most (or all) of it.
- Overweight beginners.
The following people are NOT capable of doing both at the same time:
- The majority of the population (pretty much everyone else not mentioned above).
I know, it sucks to hear that, but it’s the honest truth. It is just not possible for most people to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time at anything close to an acceptable rate. I know there are various diets and workout programs out there that claim otherwise, but like most things in the fitness industry, it’s just lies and bullshit used to get your money.
But wait, don’t feel too bad or give up hope just yet. I want to tell you why it can’t be done, and show you exactly what you need to do instead to reach both goals successfully.
Why Can’t Most People Do it?
To lose fat, what do you have to do? You have to eat less calories than your body needs (a “caloric deficit”). To gain muscle, what do you have to do? You have to eat more calories than your body needs (a “caloric surplus”).
Now, did you notice something there? Yup, they are complete opposites in terms of calorie intake. To gain muscle you need more calories, and to lose fat you need less calories. Trying to do both at the same time would be like trying to sit and stand at the same time. It just can’t literally be done simultaneously.
This is why most of the people who try to do both at the same time will usually fail to do either and eventually give up. And this of course brings up the next important question…
What’s The Solution? How Can I Do Both?
After hearing this, the next thing everyone always wants to know is how do you actually reach both goals (gain muscle AND lose fat) if you can’t do both at the same time? Well, it’s pretty simple. You DON’T do them at the same time.
Instead, you set them up in phases and alternate between them. Let me explain…
The Muscle Gain Phase
In the diet and fitness world, most people call their muscle gaining, weight gaining, size and strength gaining phase the “bulking up” phase. People often incorrectly take this to mean eating as much as possible and trying to pack on weight as quickly as possible. This is dead wrong.
Instead, the true goal of a muscle gain phase is to build as much quality lean mass as you can while at the same time keeping fat gains to an absolute minimum. Basically, the goal is to gain muscle without gaining excess fat.
To do this, your daily calorie intake is increased so that weight is gained at an ideal rate of no more than 0.5-1 pound per week (more about that here: Weight Gain Diet). As far as weight training goes, the goal in this phase is using an intelligently designed muscle building routine and working your ass off to make as much progress as you can and get stronger on every exercise.
The Fat Loss Phase
On the other hand, most people call their fat burning phase the “cutting up” or “dieting down” phase. People again incorrectly take this to mean drastically reducing calories, adding in a ton of cardio, and switching from heavy weights for lower reps to lighter weights for higher reps. Once again, this is dead wrong.
Instead, the true goal of a fat loss phase is to lose fat as quickly and effectively as possible while at the same time keeping muscle loss to an absolute minimum. Basically, the goal is to lose fat while maintaining all of the lean muscle you built.
In this phase, your daily calorie intake is decreased (and/or cardio may be increased) so that weight is lost at an ideal rate of about 1 pound per week on average (more about that here: Weight Loss Diet). As far as weight training goes, the goal in this phase isn’t so much to make progress (without the extra calories needed, you probably won’t) as much as it is to just work your ass off to maintain your lifts.