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Gaining Mass, Losing Fat

I was a shotputter in college and am relatively big, 250lbs. I’ve been working out since I was 15, but my goals have always been related to strength and performance.

Now that I dont have to worry how far the shot flies, I’m more concerned with how I look.

I’m about about 17% bodyfat. Obviously, I’d like to get that down a bit. I also would like to add mass to my arms and other places that were a bit neglected during my decade of cleaning and deadlifting.

So here’s my question, Is it possible to gain muscle while losing fat?

What would be my best approach to doing so?

I hear a lot of people talking about “bulking” and “cutting” phases, is it possible to do both at once. From reading some other threads it seems that its very difficult to do both. Also consider I’m a relative beginner bodybuilder and certainly have some excess fat to lose.

I’ve made some changes to my diet, following the 7 Habits article. I’ve already lost an inch off my waist this year.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Your question is one that many people ask. While it is possible it is very difficult but not at all practical. I would suggest dieting down see what you have to work with and go from there. Being 250 and 17% bf I’m sure you’re plenty big and will be suprised at how you look.

As for bringing up arms I suggerst compound movements that allow you to recruit the most muscle fiber possible which results in heavier loads being used. This means no 20lb tricep kickbacks. Instead do weight dips, close grip press, and maybe some skull crushers. For biceps try some weighted chin/pull-ups, bent over BB rows, heavy BB curls, and maybe some preacher work.

Hope this helped.

Check out the Velocity Diet.

Stick to the basic key exercises, and remember to lift explosively.

Check out the olympic lifts.

And considering your a shotputter, I’ll bet dollars to donuts your push muscles have been overexerted and your pull muscles underdeveloped. Do a seach on that. Hit them rows heavy and hard.

Best of luck

Over the summer I really got some good gains in the size of my arms by doing a bi/tri superset workout.

pick 4 bi exercises
pick 4 tri exercises

and superset them, short rest between sets, and exerciese…it keeps the blood flowing

i did that workout every other week for six weeks (3 workouts) and between those and my normal workouts i got a noticably larger set of pipes.

You have to be careful of chasing two goals at the same time. This is a big mistake a lot of people make.

That being said, there is still a possibility, but do not expect miracles, and you will still not do as good while dieting as when bulking.

The main goal of weight lifting is to prevent muscle loss. So pick a routine for the sole purpose of that maintenance. During the diet I am starting in about 4 weeks, I am going on Waterbury’s 10X3 for fat loss:


You could chose another. Anyway Poliquin says that one of the reasons people have trouble making their arms grow is that they have too often neglected the brachialis, and you can work on this by adding in a set of reverse curls at the beginning of your workouts.

Next I would add in Waterbury’s 100 reps program:


This uses low weights on the days you do not workout to help you recover. Simply performing 100 reps of hammer DB curls and lying dumbbell extensions for your triceps, split throughout the day with real light weight. This helps your arms recover on the days you do not workout, and is supposed to cause more capillaries to grow, feeding more blood to those muscles.

With the arms being a minor muscle group, contrary to most weightlifters beliefs, you may be more successful building them up then anything else while dieting, but that is not guaranteed, of course. Anyway at the worst, it could prepare your arms to grow during your next bulking cycle.

So cut first, then bulk?

Does the lifting change in those phases or is it simply an issue of calorie defecit/surplus?

Thanks for all the help.


[quote]BigBaconClassic wrote:
So cut first, then bulk?

Does the lifting change in those phases or is it simply an issue of calorie defecit/surplus?

Thanks for all the help.


It is as simple as caloric deficit. There is no change in my lifting routine between dieting and gaining other than the addition of cardio. I use my strength to guage whether I am losing muscle.

After Reading the G-Flux article, it appears as though you can gain muscle and lose fat… although i dont know how realistic it will be for me to eat 5,000 calories and workout 3 hours every day.

i would try Waterbury’s 10x3 for fat loss but that program seems to neglet alot of muscles, i would want to maintiain all my muscle mass when dieting…

ps. i tend to loose weight while bulking up when i take creatine and lift hard and do 40-60 mins of cardio a day

IMHO, swim daily, and lift hard 3 times a week.

swimming, while it won’t get you RIPPED like some of the folks here, is a GREAT way to slim down a bit while maintaining muscletone. …plus it’s low-impact for the joints.

SURFING is even better, I think, and certinly more fun, so if you live by the ocean, I say give it a go… my brother is an up and coming pro surfer, and he’s about as cut as they come.