If I went through my email inbox right now and sorted out all the questions I got, they would look something like this:
20% – I’m overweight, how can I lose weight?
10% – I’m skinny, how can I gain weight?
5% – Various questions on supplements, training, and nutrition
5% – I’m a hot and sexy single in your area, want to bang?
60% – How do I build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
See something interesting with the above?
The majority of people I know want to lose fat and build muscle AT THE SAME TIME.
They don’t just want to build muscle, and they don’t just want to lose fat. They want to do both at the same time.
And I get it. Everyone wants to get shit done as fast as possible, we want to lose 30 pounds of fat and pack on 20 pounds of muscle in 3 months.
But guess what? That shit ain’t going to happen.
For everyone that wants to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, let me save you years of frustration, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Okay let me rephrase that, it’s not going to happen the way you want it to.
The 2 (most realistic) ways you’ll gain muscle and lose fat at the same time
1) You’re a complete newbie to training
2) You cycle your calories (eat more on training days, eat less on rest days) and accept that gaining muscle/losing fat simultaneously will take a VERY VERY long time
Look at #1. When you’re a total beginner and you’re just getting into working out, pretty much anything you do is going to spark a change in your body. So a lot of guys go through what’s called the “newbie effect” where they tend to gain a decent amount of muscle and lose fat at the same time even if they’re eating in a calorie deficit.
Note: If you are a complete beginner to building muscle, read this post: The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle
For #2, it’s very possible to lose fat and build muscle with calorie cycling. The concept being you overeat on your training days to gain muscle and undereat on your rest days to lose fat. Like I said, this does work but the results are exponentially slower than traditional bulking and lean bulking so most guys just get too frustrated and give up which is why I rarely recommend it.
This is one area where I actually agree with professional bodybuilders. During the on season, they try to get as ripped as possible and during the off season, they try to gain as much muscle as possible.
Some get super fat during the off season (you should never do this), but the main point is that they are able to maximize their fat loss and muscle building results because they only focus on one thing at a time.
How to stop being frustrated and build the body of your dreams
There are a few things you need to do:
- Stop trying to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, especially if you’re not a beginner.
- Even though it’s possible to do both at the same time via calorie cycling, most people do not have the patience to do it successfully. It’s an extremely long process.
- If you’re looking for a more badass physique with a sleek v-taper, chances are you need to gain more muscle.
- If you’re dead set on having a body like Brad Pitt in Fight Club, you can probably get away by just gaining a bit of muscle and focus on leaning down permanently.
- But….if you want a more powerful/muscular physique like Chris Evans, Henry Cavill, or John Krasinski, you need to put on a substantial of muscle so getting a ripped six pack shouldn’t be your #1 priority right away.
What do you guys think? Have you successfully gained muscle and lost fat at the same time? Let me know in the comments.