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Lowing fat while gaining muscle

I’m currently attempting to lose fat while gaining muscle without using any supplements other than ZMA and protien shakes. Any hints? I’m a college student, so anything basic would help. I lift all the time and do some cardio, but I’m worried that I’m not eating enough carbs (cutting carbs to lose the fat) for muscle growth. How many carbs should I eat? When? Should I even be trying to cut carbs? I’m currently at 245 and would like to stay that weight but lose body fat. Any hints?

Tank, what you are attempting to do by losing fat and gaining mass is a very hard journey. Unless you are New to training. Those goals counter one another in the way they need to be approached.

To get massive gains in a short time you must EAT massive amounts of food. To lose bf% you need to go in a calorie deficit.

It can be done to a certain amount though. Usually leading to slower gains in each area. I would suggest looking into a cycle type of diet where you are taking in a hyper caloric diet on a few of the training days and then hypocaloric, limit carbs, and up cardio on other days.

I am in the middle of testing this type of diet for the first run with what seem to be good results so far. I am only two weeks though.

You might check out the “cheaters diet” for some info… You are going to have to build something to fit you though in the long run, a lot of testing and experimentation.

If you dont have a lot of time to tweek with things and possibly not get the results you are looking for, then I would suggest just sticking with the old reliable. Cut some fat and preserve as much LBM as possible, then eat big and grow LARGE.


Yes, the Cheater’s Diet should do the job for you, but it requires/recommends the use of an androgen/PH to protect LBM because the strict days are exceedingly strict.

A more realistic goal might be to focus on dropping a reasonable amount of BF per week (1 pound) while doing everything possible to protect and enhance LBM. Then at a certain point switch to putting on a reasonable amount of LBM per week (depends on how long and how efficiently you’ve been training) while doing everything possible to minimize fat gain.

The trick is being reasonable and dialing in your diet, cardio and weight lifting program.

Do you keep a food log, Tank? People who do are usually very in touch with how their body responds to different weight lifting programs, types and amount of cardio and different macronutrient percentages. Such a person would have the best chance of doing what you’re attempting.

This is the more accurate statement you’re going to get.

Thanks for the help guys. I don’t even want to necessarily get bigger, I just want to get stronger. I am by no means a body builder, nor do I particularly care how big I am, strength is key. Do the same rules apply?

Your original post asks about gaining muscle while losing fat. I don’t see any mention of strength at all.

Having said that, clarify your goals. You’re after strength and what? Size? Fat loss? What?

Either way, with strength as your priority, the rules can be bent a little.

You’re right, I apologize. I’m a competitive athlete who simply has too much fat. I want to build strength while dropping the excess body fat. Size is really of no importance, I’d rather be strong as shit then ripped out of my head. How does this change things?

Hey tank,
I know it is always seems easier to change your diet but you didn’t mention anything about cardio at all. If you aren’t doing any start. If you stay in a fat burning cardio range for 30-45 minutes after your lifting workout you will drop fat and won’t risk losing alot of lbm. If you can afford it take Surge, I know it is a little expensive but what is 5-10 lbs of lost muscle worth?

Don’t listen to halftrack if your goal is indeed strength.

Concentrate on training for strength gains while in the gym. Leave and make sure you have plenty of recovery time. If fat gains is a concern, perform HIIT instead of long, steady state cardio. This will better improve your conditioning while also allowing you to maintain strength and LBM.

My .2 cents

Tank, just hang out and keep reading the forum and the articles on T-Mag. It all starts with educating yourself, implementing the things you learn, and taking things to a higher level.

Like Halftrack said, if you’re not currently doing cardio, add it into what you’re doing currently.

A great get-started article is John Berardi’s, “7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs” in Issue 291. Get the things he talks about in order first, and you’ll have no problem building the body you want.

I do cardio, some for football training some just on the elliptical machine. My routine is usually as follows. I throw the shot, go to the gym and lift, then do cardio once I’m done. Should I start doing cardio before I throw? When should I throw in some food? Before and after? I have heard that you should eat food before doing cardio because you will burn fat instead of muscle, but I am not sure if that is true. Also, what is the maximum amount of protien (in shake or chicken form) to take at once, and how long before I should do it again?

To recap since the advice seems to be contradictory, if your goals are to increase strength, keep cardio to a minimum (if you do any at all). If your goals are fat loss, add in some cardio if you’re not doing any currently.

Once again, good luck to you!!!

Tank, you gotta listen to Patricia and TT here. These are two ppl you really should listen to.

As Patricia’s recomendation of the HIIT will do you wonders in your progress toward your goals. Burning fat and not being as preventative to the strenght gains you want. DONT do it at the same time as your training. Check out the “Cardio Round Table” for some more info. as well as a search of the forumn.

TT recomendation of JB’s 7 Habits article is one of the greatest things any person could do for themselves. Nail down the basic guidlines he lays out in that article and you will be well on your way to having the tools as far as nutrition goes to reach any goal you want.

Sick in theire, educate yourself on the forumn, and mag, then come on back with any ?'s you have.


Tank - What sport are you competing in? Which ever sport it is I’m sure you do want to improve strength, speed and explosiveness. You might want to look into some of Chad Waterbury’s and Coach Davies’ articles.

I will go with the experienced opinion of a powerlifter/strongwoman and say to not to do quantity of cardio that has been suggested.

There is no reason why you can’t make strength gains while losing fat. The best way would be to train for strength, do a little HIIT, and let your diet take care of the fat loss.

Tank, devour this site. Learn all you can. Listen to Tampa Terry and Patricia, they are great. But if I could put in my 2 cents. I am currently training using Christian Thibaudeau’s OVT Training method. I just started this week but he says it is a great way to lose fat while increasing strength. Do a search for it. As TT said, keep a food log, the best drug in the world is food, especially at your age. Keep it up!!!

Tank if you interested in cardio ct running man
is great when I want to lose fat I do 3 to 4 times
a week. When bulking I may only do 1 to 2 times a week. You should read up a lot of great
training programs. Do a search My big fat training great stuff.

For increasing strength, 1-5 reps works well.

Hit running man on the alternate days, T-Dawg 2.0 it up, and read. There’s a lot of info on this site.

Dan “Just to add to the glut of info you’re already getting.” McVicker

Sorry, I guess I was too broad when I say increase your cardio. Most everyone that I know that is a heavy lifter doesn’t do actual cardiovascular training. I do a version of HIIT my self and rarely spend more than 20 minutes on a session (30 second sprint followed by 30 second jog, repeat, etc…) This will give you a good work out and you can do it on most machines. TT is right I am wrong. As usual. Good call.

Halftrack, it’s not a case of right or wrong. It’s a case of approach and maybe even Tank defining exactly what his goals are.

Yours was perfectly good advice. The more people that share their different approaches, the better for the original poster. More to pick and chose from! (grin)