How To Build Muscle and Lose Fat Simultaneously
I often get the same, or similar, questions asked over and over again, and in the spirit of sharing, I've reprinted the article below that I wrote for GoArticles that addresses the question, “How do I build muscle and lose fat at the same time?”
I also call it, “Diet and Exercise are your one-two punch against the paunch!”
Generally speaking, when I get questions via email or a contact me form, I reply. I will NOT stop doing that! I will continue to answer your questions on an individual basis as long as I can keep up with them!
However, since this one seems to be a persistent question, I'll answer it here and now. I am absolutely SURE that a lot of you have a similar question. So, here goes.
We always want to be able to have cake and eat it, too. In the bodybuilding world, this means that we want to build muscle and lose bodyfat all at the same time.
It is, of course, possible, but it's very difficult to lose bodyfat while adding muscle. Competition bodybuilders often do this, so it's a fact that it CAN be done. However, it's very demanding, both physically and mentally. I will mention an alternative approach that is actually easier and better. That is to say, start a growth phase for 3-6 weeks followed by a “ripping up” phase for 2-3 weeks. But if you want to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, follow these steps.
Your diet is the most important aspect of your bodybuilding regimen. In fact, it may be 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent training. Your nutritional program will consist of very high protein from sources like nonfat milk, eggs, beef, chicken, and fish. For the first two weeks, refrain from eating bread or potatoes and other starchy or complex carbs, other than from vegetables. You will drop a considerable amount of bodyfat the first two weeks, then your losses will taper off. In week 3, add in small amounts of bread and potatoes as well as fruit. Stay away from juice. While it may be highly nutritious, it is too concentrated and you can kill your caloric intake with just a few cups. Also refrain from weight gain shakes.
Instead, pick up a meal replacement powder like MetRx. Mix up some in the morning with water and carry with you throughout the day, sipping every 15 to 20 minutes. Use these for your pre- and post-workout meals, too.
For your weight training, you will have to concentrate on building as much mass as you can. Do complex movements like Squats, Bench Presses, and Deadlifts. The idea here is to stimulate as much muscle growth in as very little time as possible. Do a 3-way split routine, training the legs on Monday, the back on Wednesday, and chest on Friday.
Fit in shoulders, arms, and calves wherever they fit best. On non-weight days, do some form of cardio. It doesn't really matter whether it's running, cycling, walking, or some other form of aerobic activity. I suggest you mix intervals in with a more traditional approach. If you follow these simple guidelines, you can build muscle and lose bodyfat simultaneously.
It's certainly difficult, but not impossible. And it's more mental than physical. If you want to learn more about building mass, check out the Hardgainer's Manifesto, a system devised to help hardgainers build more muscle mass.
About the Author
Bill is the creator of Hardgainer's Manifesto, a bodybuilding system designed specifically to address the particular needs of hardgainers.