T Nation

Lighter but Stronger. Help

Hey everyone,

  I'd decided to restart my work out routine after a serious cold messed up my schedule last year.  I want to get into MMA or boxing and would like to lower my fat percentage while still gaining as much strength.  

My goal is not to become big, I’d rather be more lighter and stronger as possible. I’m 19, 5’7" 180lbs. My body is on the chubby side so I decided that it was time for a change. (sorry about the long intro)

  I started working out 3-4 time a week about 2 weeks ago doing 10-20mins of either the exercise bicycle or jogging/sprints doing various upper body exercises on the machines for about 40mins.  

I’m trying to to slowly get my nutrition and meals planned out but I cut all higher suger and most fatty foods out of my diet along time ago. About a week ago, I bought various vitamins as wells whey protein and creatine.

 I read on numerous places that it's not possible to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.  This though is not my goal as that I would like to burn fat and gain strength, not mass.  I was wondering if buying the protein and creatine was a mistake and should I just take it back. 

  I know that nothing happens overnight and would like to know if could be on a balanced work out plan and burn fat and gain strength or would I need to focus mainly on one. 

You need protein whether your an athlete, bodybuilder, fighter, or couch potato. Protein is the basic building block of all living cells and without protein and the essential amino acids in your diet you will die.

With that being said, protein is a grest supplement for any athlete that causes stress and damages their muscle tissue. It helps repair it and is a staple in many bodybuilders, powerlifters, fighters, or any athletes diet. So I’d keep the protein.

Creatine. Your body’s primary source of energy production is ATP. Creatine is ADP with a Phosphate group attached. Your body, through Krebs Cycle and other processes uses the ADP+P to create ATP, you need glucose and other things, but I’ll leave out most of the science. In the end you will have more ATP in the muscle tissue.

With more ATP you should be able to squeeze out a few more reps with a weight then you could without it. More burst energy will allow you to lift heavy over a longer duration. So I’d keep the creatine.

In order to lose weight you need to take in less calories then your body burns. You will have to find this out through trial and error.

While dieting, in order to maintain strength, do not lower the weight on your lifts, but you need to keep lifting the same amount of weight and keep trying to improve all your lifts.

Once you hit your target weight you need to adjust your calories in order for you to maintiain that weight and still stay on a general strength training program to up your lifts. I’d do something like 5x5 program.

Many people have increased there lifts even when dieting, just stick with it and you’ll be fine. Remeber again, always strive to improve your lifts either by adding a rep or more weight to the bar. Don’t want to stagnate.

Also, although you’re not bodybuilding, it is very important to work out your secondary muscles such as biceps, triceps, shoulders, even your rotator cuff, because increasing strength in those areas will up your big lifts as well.

Good Luck.

I don’t care what anyone says, it is very possible to lose fat and gain strength at the same time. I’ve done it, seen others do it. Now, I agree that going into a calorie surplus and gaining some fat can be a much more effective and a faster way to gain strength.

In any case, the whey and creatine you bought can be a great tool to your training. And honestly, no one on here is going to tell you to ditch the whey. Protein is what your body will need to repair and grow, keep it and use it.

All of your questions can be answered with the search feature here, there are a ton of resources and articles on this site to help you. Good luck with your training.

Thanks for the advice. I’m glad to hear that I don’t need to drop the stuff a bought, but for future usuage, Is there a certain brand of creatine, whey protein that works better? I bought my stuff from gnc thinking that it would be top of the line, but I read a few reviews from them and the general idea I got was that it was uneffective and expensive.

…check out Metabolic Drive, Grow!, and micronized german creatine.

  1. There are many theories you can read on the internet and on here regarding strength gain vs size gain. They involve things like hypertrophy and CNS changes. Bottom line, gaining strength and gaining size are related but you can do one without the other.

  2. T-Nation is basically a supplement store. You’re asking here what is the best stuff to take, you’re going to hear it’s the T-Nation stuff. Just like walking into GNC asking them what is the best stuff to take, they’re not going to send you someplace else.


You have my attention. So what is a good semi-beginner routine for a mix of hypertrophy and strength? My stats are on the previous post you responded to titled “confused”.

Did you read the stickies on the top of the thread? You’re asking questions that just don’t have simple and correct answers. There are simple answers that are mostly correct and complicated answers that are more correct.

The whole rep range works into it. General rule of thumb has come to be: 3 reps for strength; 12 reps for size. You want both, do 8 reps. It’s that simple. So they say. It’s all explained in the stickies.

Do Starting Strength. The instructions for it are on this forum.

As a semi-beginner, you’re thinking too much. You should consider yourself a beginner up to 2 years of steady lifting. I know I do.

MMA or boxing would probably meet your goals on their own. But if you’re going to let a ‘serious cold last year’ mess up your routine you’ll get nowhere. I hope you understated your illness!