T Nation

What Goal Is Harder?

For the people who have been in both places, what was harder lowering body fat or gaining lean mass?

I am still trying to lose my BF and it is not easy. I keep telling myself that gainning LBM will be easier when I am down to decent BF %.

I am getting use to all the fruits and veggies so it is getting easier but sill hard.

I guess the point of the post is motoviation.

Feel free to share your story, what worked and what didnt etc etc

Motivation came from feedback from peers, as well as an increase in energy, general self esteem, and little things like catching new definition or vascularity in the mirror. I’m very familiar with the weight loss battle and I’d say the knowledge of what will happen to your body if you don’t work out and eat right should be motivation enough. Personally, I dont think there is an answer to the question “Is it harder to gain LBM or lose BF” because obviously that depends on both controllable factors (diet, exercise) and uncontrollable factors (genetics). At the end of the day I think you will find both easy to come by so long as you love what you’re doing and stay motivated, that doesn’t mean all of a sudden gaining LBM or losing BF is going to start happening at lightning speed, but long periods of time will seem to fly by if you keep your focus, train hard and eat right.

Losing fat is by far easier. It takes years to build a great amount of muscle mass, and only a few months to cut off a shit ton of fat. It might seem hard, but once you get into the swing of dieting and everything, it becomes second nature and you’ll never go back to your old lifestyle.

Good luck with the cutting!

[quote]Zero_Z wrote:
Losing fat is by far easier. >>>[/quote]

Second That… in spades.

personally for me its lowering body fat that’s the hardest. i never had a problem gaining mass. when i was a teen i worked at an italian restaurant, me and my buddies would work out for about 3 hours straight and then go to the restaurant and stuff our faces. doesn’t get any easier than that.

Losing fat is far easier.

You can just go through the motions and still cut fat down to a reasonable level. You won’t gain an ounce of muscle without a lot of conscious effort.

[female perspective]
Leaning out is harder because I have to be focused and consistent with my diet, day in and day out. It goes against my nature to limit my food and be so anal.

To gain muscle, I was able to eat much more freely (but smartly, of course). It’s more “fun”.

Both goals require heavy and hard workouts.
[/female perspective]

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Zero_Z wrote:
Losing fat is by far easier. >>>

Second That… in spades.

[/quote]

It’s not even close. Unless you’re obese or something, you can get ripped or nearly ripped in 4 months. To put on a quality amount of muscle naturally takes at least 4 years.

Putting on muscle is much harder.

Thermogenics work, there’s nothing that works as well for putting on muscle mass…legally.

It takes much LONGER to put on muscle. I mean relatively its the same process:

1 - Eat Food

2 - Lift weights

3 - Sleep

4 - Repeat

The only thing that changes really is the amount of food you are eating. I’ve known it to be the case for people to lose 2-3 pounds of fat per week, while it can take a year or so to build 15 - 20 pounds of muscle once you get past your newbie gains.

Hell, as you add more muscle mass it becomes increasingly difficult and slow to add muscle mass.

Take a 300lb guy with 130lbs of fat in one year or less he can lose 100lbs of fat. It would be hard but it has been done.

Take a 200lb guy with 30lbs of fat there is a 99.9999999999999999999 percent chance he will never put on 100lbs of muscle. Even if he lifted for 20 years.

This is why there are only a hand full of huge bodybuilders in the world and there are millions of skiny people.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Zero_Z wrote:
Losing fat is by far easier. >>>

Second That… in spades.[/quote]
Hey, I love you guys, and it may be easier for you ecto/meso’s, but with all due respect…

Tell that bulls**t to my flab, cause it ain’t agreein’ or cooperatin’!!!/:wink:

Gaining muscle, for me, is MUCH easier than losing fat.

Haha, just kidding.

It’s easy to lose fat, down to some level, but if that level is not as low as you want to go, it then gets pretty difficult for some people.

Perhaps it’s the discipline required to plan, measure, log or whatnot beyond that point?

A couple things are going on here. From a bare physiological standpoint it is an indisputable fact that for normal reasonably healthy people losing fat is far less metabolically expensive process and hence an easier task.

As California law was saying getting leanER, by a whole lot can be done in a matter of several months and definitely less than a year for anybody under 400 lbs.

Getting VERY lean, as in low teens for woman and single digits for men may turn into a task as Vroom said.

If were talking which is medically more difficult then it’s gaining, if were talking which may take more planning, effort and discipline at a given point in someone’s life then it can depend.

I find it far easier to gain muscle than to lose fat. Not that muscle gains are quick and easy of course. But losing fat is a long, tedious process of very strict dieting for me. I also have to give up beer. Doh!

Mmmmmmm, beer!

Fat is at the very least 4-5 times faster to lose than it is to gain muscle. Also it takes no excercise to lose it. All you have to do is not put food in your mouth.

So if you want to get technical it actualy takes less work to lose fat than it does to maintain your weight.

People that say loseing fat is harder than putting on muscle must be weak minded because it is clearly a mental issue to consider not being able to eat ice cream and pizza for a couple of weeks harder than lifting heavy weight and eating large amounts for YEARS.

[quote]n3wb wrote:
Fat is at the very least 4-5 times faster to lose than it is to gain muscle. Also it takes no excercise to lose it. All you have to do is not put food in your mouth.

So if you want to get technical it actualy takes less work to lose fat than it does to maintain your weight.

People that say loseing fat is harder than putting on muscle must be weak minded because it is clearly a mental issue to consider not being able to eat ice cream and pizza for a couple of weeks harder than lifting heavy weight and eating large amounts for YEARS.
[/quote]

While it’s true that some people make every aspect of every physique pursuit more complicated and more difficult than it needs to be and also that most issues are a matter of discipline in some form, I’m not ready to say that it’s never quite difficult for some folks to get lean.

However, I DO suspect that some who believe gaining lean is easier than losing fat have less than spectacular visions what gaining means.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
However, I DO suspect that some who believe gaining lean is easier than losing fat have less than spectacular visions what gaining means.[/quote]

I definatley agree with this.

I have a brother who has been trying to lose weight for a year or so because every time he would lose weight he would eat like crap for a couple weeks and mess it up.

Basicaly because I have bulked durring this time and he has failed at puting on any significant amount of muscle (loseing fat is now harder than putting on muscle) I have a strange feeling that when ever I start to drop some fat and he starts bulking suddenly putting on muscle will be WAAAYY harder than loseing fat.

I think you all get my point.

It all depends on your genetics. I have known some dudes that will eat all day (crap at that) and not work out and maintain a 6 pack with over all descent muscle mass. . oh yea and be strong as a f**king ox. Others will eat great and work out like a religious zealot and have the once a year doughnut and get bloated and gain 2 lbs of FAT
Any way one must find out what does and does not work for THEM.

Generally I have found that those who gain fat easily with slow metabolisms tend to gain muscle well with good eating habits and dedicated training.