T Nation

Building Muscle WHILE Burning Fat?

I’ve seen several articles on here about training to both build muscle while reducing body fat. My question is, how is this possible? It seems like basic math when you factor in either a calorie surplus or deficit.

Or is it something more arcane like this: on lifting days, you eat a surplus and you would be building muscle. On cardio days, you would train to focus on shedding fat. I still don’t see how this would be possible, since the gains would need to be at least weekly to accumulate (or at least I would think). Now I know AAS breaks the rules, so I’m speaking to the natural 30 year old lifter.

It certainly is possible, although it takes a long time unless one is really gifted in a genetic way.

If you can increase insulin sensitivity and eat lots of protein and really make sure you are getting a ton of nutrients and at the right times. Getting lots of sleep etc… combined with training your frign ass off then you can do both at the same time.

Over the last 9 months, i have gained about 10lbs of lean mass and lost about 20lbs of fat-mass pretty much simultaneously

id say pursue one of the other… trying to do both at the same time (without aas/gh/slin) you will find yourself spinning your wheels…

chasing two rabbits you will catch neither

If only there were already a thread about just this thing…if only…

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
id say pursue one of the other… trying to do both at the same time (without aas/gh/slin) you will find yourself spinning your wheels…[/quote]“At the same time” means over the course of a week?
A month?
3 months?

I think it depends how fat you are to start as well. I’m in no doubt that someone 200lbs @30% bf could gain muscle and burn fat at the same time.

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
If only there were already a thread about just this thing…if only…[/quote]

Underscores the lack of consensus maybe?

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
id say pursue one of the other… trying to do both at the same time (without aas/gh/slin) you will find yourself spinning your wheels…

chasing two rabbits you will catch neither

[/quote]

I tend to agree. I feel those who “think” they became more muscular is the illusion of looking more muscular when they shed their body fat. If these two were compatible, you wouldn’t see story after story about a lifters strength going down after cutting.

While it is true that the illusion created by losing fat will most certainly make someone appear more muscular, I don’t see it as a simple one or the other pursuits. I’ve seen many people (clients of mine who get their bf calipered every week while dieting for example) lose considerable scale weight while increasing measurements of certain muscles (ie. arms), as well as people losing no scale weight for weeks on end, yet having their bf% go down by very large amounts. That says to me, that muscle is being built while fat is being lost.

Sure, it’s easier to gauge if you’re in a caloric surplus if the scale is constantly moving up, and as such, you can tell yourself with more certainty that you’re providing evnough quality nutrients (even if you’re not, because of poor timing, or simply bad food choices), but if you ask me, if you’re getting enough nutrients to address the building of new tissue, and you still have periods of the day, of the week etc, where you’re body gets to shift into more fat metabolism, you can easily build new muscle while simultaneously losing bodyfat.

For beginners though, I would certainly focus moreso on one task than the other, but never discounting that a little bit of fat loss, or new muscle synthesis can occur no matter your main pursuit.

S

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:
If these two were compatible, you wouldn’t see story after story about a lifters strength going down after cutting.
[/quote]

My strength never really dropped when cutting. I chat with a good number of competitors who would echo my experiences. It’s usually the more inexperienced dieters who suffer the results of lost muscles and strength levels.

S

While in transition; during short periods of time; while the residual momentum is still moving forward it may happen. IMO…it doesn’t last long in trained lifters.

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:
I’ve seen several articles on here about training to both build muscle while reducing body fat. My question is, how is this possible? It seems like basic math when you factor in either a calorie surplus or deficit.

[/quote]

I agree with Stu,it is possible to lose fat and gaining new muscles but… it is NO easy,at least for ME,it worked but it has been longer than I expected,2 years ago I started to reduce both kalories amount than changing macros ratio,my strenght did not suffer at all,I kept to train hard but -especially- in the beginning of process I started to lose fat and tape measures gos down with no appreciable change in the look,

I kept going and after one year my upper chest growed up (my claviculae were visible when I was 28lb heavier now not) and my arms are barely same size of before starting the “diet”,same for neck (1 inch more)but now my jeans size is 30/31 (lost 2size LOL),I gained (MOSTLY FAT lol) 6kg/15 lb since october (my lighter bw)i’m 96kg now/212 lb but people who asked me my weigth say that it’s impossible that I weight so much,said this, Yesterday I started the “diet” again hoping to reach same weight of last year in a couple of months BUT with a fuller appareance (hope to have gain some muscle…)

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
If only there were already a thread about just this thing…if only…[/quote]

Underscores the lack of consensus maybe?
[/quote]

Not really. Every time this thread pops up someone like Chris or Stu pops in and says the exact same thing.

The only sure way I can think about is the way bodybuilders who grow into shows do it.

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
id say pursue one of the other… trying to do both at the same time (without aas/gh/slin) you will find yourself spinning your wheels…

chasing two rabbits you will catch neither

[/quote]

^ This

I’ve seen several guys in the gym make little to no progress with this approach. Unless you ae really fat to begin with, it tends to be a fruitless endeavor.

It can be done with a perfect organic diet, excellent supps, 10 hours sleep etc -ie you need a piss easy job and tons of spare cash

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
It can be done with a perfect organic diet, excellent supps, 10 hours sleep etc -ie you need a piss easy job and tons of spare cash[/quote]

Organic foods are a way for BIG FOOD to sell you the same shit at a higher price. Don’t be fooled.

So the NATURAL PRO, who has coached a bunch of men and women and has seen it happen among his clients as well as his peers, says it can be done and that did not end this thread? God. Almighty.

It still has to be explained to me how you can lose fat, while consuming more calories than your body burns. Or how you can build muscle while consuming less calories then your daily levels. It’s this against the law of thermodynamics or something??

I mean it all comes down to the macros in the end. I think that body composition and shape will make you appear like you are adding muscle while losing fat.

BUT. If there are studies where there are guys who lost 20 pounds of fat by added an inch to their arms, I’d love to see them. I’d be surprised, but I would love to see them. Are they out there? Of course I’m referring to a natural dude here.

What’s the difference? Train like you’re trying to get stronger no matter what. If you want to lose fat eat lots of protein and a calorie deficit. At that point there’s nothing else you can do, see if you get stronger or what. What would you do any differently if you wanted to accomplish both goals simultaneously?

No clue wtf you’re talking about w/ thermodynamics. In theory if your body is using its own fat for energy why can’t it use that to shuttle protein to build your muscles?