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Muscle gain and Fat Loss
At the SAME time
"You basically did this backwards. You dont lose fat and then start working out to build muscle. You workout to build muscle, and then that speeds up the fat loss"
I said this recently to a new client, who had lost about 20lbs of fat the past few months, but was NOT going to the gym AT ALL.
He had the very misguided idea that muscle gain can ONLY happen when bulking.
And as he has a lot of fat to lose, his idea was to lose the fat first, then begin training.
I understood the logic, but as I pointed out to him, he was lowering his metabolism further by trying to diet without exercise, and likely had lost some lean body mass in the process.
And he also did not know that you can still build strength and muscle while dieting.
Muscle Gain and fat loss are NOT mutually exclusive. They can happen at the same time, most of all in overweight populations.
that I've had clients who got leaner (less bodyfat) while also getting more muscular.
What people do not realize, is that when you have excess fat, your body ALREADY has the fuel it needs to build new muscle tissue. So you can in fact be in an energetic/deficit calorically, but you'll still build muscle because your body taps in to your fat stores.
This is why lifting weights is so critical for improved bodycomposition. Aside from the immense improvements in insulin sensitivity, nutrient partitioning, mitochondrial function, and and overall hormonal health, there is also the factor of the adding muscle mass increasing overall metabolism.
Now, as you do get leaner, the muscle growth will slowdown. But this does not generally happen until you get to the sub 15% bodyfat range. At that point, you don't have any excess fat really, you are lean. So if you want to add size, then yes, "bulking" can be a strategy.
Until you get to that point though, you can diet for quite some time, getting leaner and getting stronger.
Per my slow and serious approach, I recommend people with A LOT of fat to lose diet hard for 3-4 months, then take 4 week breaks, eating at caloric maintenance, and then resume dieting again. This is approach is very measured, but it prevents metabolic slowdown, allows bodyweight to reset itself, and it works with your biology, not against it.
This does not mean weight loss is slow itself, but rather that the time frame its done on is patient. Over the longer term, you get leaner, stronger, and more muscular.
And who doesnt want that?
And for those people who are not significantly overweight, and have only 20lbs or less to lose, that can readily be done in 2-3 months.