T Nation

REcomp Question

Hi,

Been bulking for a while now- gone from 10st 6lbs, to 12st. But I’ve gained a bit of fat along the way (20%BF currently).

On other forums, the guys said I should recomp, looking to build strength rather than size. They said I could use the excess fat stores as energy, (if eating at maintenance), and burn 5kg of fat, while gaining 5kg of muscle…

is this even possible?

Thanks.

[quote]earthworm_gym wrote:
Hi,

Been bulking for a while now- gone from 10st 6lbs, to 12st. But I’ve gained a bit of fat along the way (20%BF currently).

On other forums, the guys said I should recomp, looking to build strength rather than size. They said I could use the excess fat stores as energy, (if eating at maintenance), and burn 5kg of fat, while gaining 5kg of muscle…

is this even possible?

Thanks.[/quote]

For some people, at some point in their training career, it’s possible.

For you? Maybe, maybe not.

Most people around here will say 20% is too much, and you need to cut or attempt a recomp at this point. Based on what I know (but I have no experience in it.), I’d attempt a recomp first, and if that doesn’t work, a cut. And then go from there.

But there are several threads around here where you can read up. Use the search box in the top right.

(I only answered because this thread was being ignored.)

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]earthworm_gym wrote:
Hi,

Been bulking for a while now- gone from 10st 6lbs, to 12st. But I’ve gained a bit of fat along the way (20%BF currently).

On other forums, the guys said I should recomp, looking to build strength rather than size. They said I could use the excess fat stores as energy, (if eating at maintenance), and burn 5kg of fat, while gaining 5kg of muscle…

is this even possible?

Thanks.[/quote]

For some people, at some point in their training career, it’s possible.

For you? Maybe, maybe not.

Most people around here will say 20% is too much, and you need to cut or attempt a recomp at this point. Based on what I know (but I have no experience in it.), I’d attempt a recomp first, and if that doesn’t work, a cut. And then go from there.

But there are several threads around here where you can read up. Use the search box in the top right.

(I only answered because this thread was being ignored.)[/quote]

Thanks man- appreciate it!!

as far as gaining 5kg of muscle and loosing 5kg of fat, i have done it, although it was a VERY slow and difficult task.

you can do it if you get your diet SUPER clean and train SUPER hard. Also great sleep is pretty much a must to re-comp to that degree

[quote]tork94 wrote:
as far as gaining 5kg of muscle and loosing 5kg of fat, i have done it, although it was a VERY slow and difficult task.

you can do it if you get your diet SUPER clean and train SUPER hard. Also great sleep is pretty much a must to re-comp to that degree[/quote]

cool- any tips on food to avoid?

If you try to hold your weight and are strict with your calories, play about with carb timing and do your cardio then you might SLIGHTLY lean up and gain some LBM over a space of a few months. But 12lbs of muscle while losing 12lbs of fat? With out gear? If it was even possible it would be quicker to just cut then add the weight back with LBM. Thats in my opinion of course!

[quote]earthworm_gym wrote:
On other forums, the guys said I should recomp, looking to build strength rather than size.
[/quote]

First off, you might consider getting the “recomp” concept out of your head altogether. No doubt, a “recomp” represents the most efficient route from A —> B but lacking pharm assistance or good genetics for leanness, it’s an option that is unavailable to most. (and at 20% bodyfat, you can safely rule out that latter)

Second off, it is STILL possible to add muscle and lose fat: heavy lifting and attention to nutritional detail are the ticket.

Third, and perhaps most important: building strength is your objective regardless of any physique goal. Adjust kcals as appropriate but ALWAYS strive to build/maintain strength (on the exercises that best fit your bodytype)

[quote]earthworm_gym wrote:

[quote]tork94 wrote:
as far as gaining 5kg of muscle and loosing 5kg of fat, i have done it, although it was a VERY slow and difficult task.

you can do it if you get your diet SUPER clean and train SUPER hard. Also great sleep is pretty much a must to re-comp to that degree[/quote]

cool- any tips on food to avoid?[/quote]

my diet was completely low carb/paleo, with no high carb foods or supplements what so ever. I also took insulin sensitivity raising supplements (yes they are useful without carbs) and I had a carb-up MEAL (not a CHEAT DAY) once/week.

I made most of my progress doing the german body comp for athletes program.

2 things can get you leaner.
1 eat real food not processed, lots of veggies.
2 train volume short rests. In 35 minutes you should do 30 sets. You will be forced to use light weights and the cumulative fatigue will come from doing 5-7 sets per exercise.
You can build muscles and keep the scale unchanged more or less. Add volume progressively and avoid failure to keep recovery short. Work twice weekly all muscles.
All the best !

[quote]BHappy wrote:
You will be forced to use light weights[/quote]

I would not recommend this.

Create your kcal deficit via diet, and NOT by trying to burn max kcals during training.

[quote]chillain wrote:

[quote]BHappy wrote:
You will be forced to use light weights[/quote]

I would not recommend this.

Create your kcal deficit via diet, and NOT by trying to burn max kcals during training.

[/quote]

the super fast rest periods and lots of time under tension in a short workout are to produce a hormonal response from the lactic acid accumulation. NOT to simply burn calories

I just tought of that 1
loosing some stones will be a grind … HA HA

It is easier here we have kilos and pounds.

By the way i did it(and i am 55 years old), my waist line is 28.5 inches, i added about 10 pounds of muscles without any scale change.

[quote]ESX wrote:
If you try to hold your weight and are strict with your calories, play about with carb timing and do your cardio then you might SLIGHTLY lean up and gain some LBM over a space of a few months. But 12lbs of muscle while losing 12lbs of fat? With out gear? If it was even possible it would be quicker to just cut then add the weight back with LBM. [/quote]

This. Especially the last bit. Possible? Maybe. Best approach without aas? No.

I have no clue what aas means. I guess it is either supplement/drug. I never and never will use either. I am no expert about what is the fastest, i guess it depends on genes etc… I know what is possible.

losing the fat’s going to be much easier than gaining the muscle, thus it will probably happen first with your stated plan, just a heads up

Your original post kind of confuses me. I’d just do a short 3-6 month cut, going from 20% to under 15% will leave you looking better, ready to make some gains and it probably won’t even be that hard if you know what’s going on or you hire a coach, I have no idea how much you weigh but im going to assume that the 5-7% drop is going to be in the neighborhood of 20-25lbs.

When I was bulking, I also gained fat like u.

I’m by no means experienced in cutting, recomp, whatever, but i was 14 lbs heavier at 19.7% body fat 3 months ago, starting weight was 226.

Lost what I assume to be all fat, i say assume because the math doesnt add up. If i am now at 17% body fat, and lost 2.7% since i started at 226, thats only like 7lbs of fat… but I lift more now than ever, in all muscle groups, and everything fits loosely… go figure. Im lost. Kinda disappointed that after 3 months Im only at 17%… was expecting a better result. Think id be happy at 12%.

I counted every calorie using myfitnesspal, weighed all my foods, did cardio lightly (3 days) and strictly at fat burning heart rate (based on my age its 140-145) and made sure it didn’t go over. My daily caloric content based on many online calculators were 2200 to maintain… so i did a deficit of 400 down to net 1800 total per day, with 200 grams of protein minimum daily. It was a pitifully slow loss, about 1.5 lbs a week. Years ago I used to run 5 days a week, 5 miles per day at a fast pace, took in 1200 calories, and lifted less each session due to lack of energy. At the end of it I lost 40 lbs in 2 nonths…BUT also lost a ton of mass. What a damned waste. Took me 6 months to get it back.

I would tell you to make sure you count all ur calories and add cardio, but wouldnt go too high on the heart rate or u risk losing gains like i did years ago. I attribute my quasi-succesful result this time to not going ultra low on calories and not expecting quick results. I also made it a point to lift HEAVIER each time and never go light. Ever. I read that during deficit diets heavy lifting and lots of protein can maintain and prevent mass loss. For each muscle, i usually do 3 sets at 12 reps (36 total) or till failure. If i felt weak, i still finished my required reps even if it took me many sets… as long as it was 36 reps in all… cause this keeps the body building.

Now im here trolling and looking for a new way cause i dont have the motivation to do another 12 weeks of this crap lol