Body re-arrangement is a long process of body restructuring, which is based on the desire to simultaneously gain muscle mass and burn fat. It is impossible to recompose the body without a proper approach to nutrition and training. The question arises, is it possible to turn fat into muscle? Such a process is not possible. But gaining muscle mass and burning fat at the same time is quite real, although this is contrary to your energy needs. Building muscle requires an excess of calories, and burning fat requires a deficit.
How to turn fat into muscle? How does it really work? Who is able to succeed in this, and who is not, and why? Read on to learn how to build muscle and burn fat ...
How to lose weight and build muscle?
Nothing makes people come to the gym and take supplements like the desire to build muscle and burn fat, that is, to achieve body recomposition , as experts like to call this process.
Body re-arrangement is a very long and difficult process of body restructuring, which is based on the desire to simultaneously increase the amount of muscle mass and decrease body fat, which often cannot be done without observing strict rules in calculating calories and the number of workouts.
The main thing you need to know - muscle building and burning are two opposite processes, from the point of view of the energy of our body. Building muscle requires an excess of calories, and burning fat requires a deficit. Without the right approach, an attempt to carry out these actions simultaneously can lead to undesirable consequences.
Everyone says: “In order to get rid of fat, you need to do certain exercises, eat right and take supplements,” isn’t it? You can burn fat while maintaining muscle mass, right?
Is it possible to simultaneously build muscle and get rid of fat?
Well, I have news: good and bad.
- Good: yes, it is possible to lose fat and at the same time build muscle.
- Bad: this is only possible under certain conditions.
- Very bad: most of the tips on how to lose weight, so that fat and not muscle go, are worthless.
Yes, those "gurus" who swear that they know the secret to gaining muscle mass, almost always carry nonsense. And I can prove it.
In this article, we will talk about how the body actually builds muscle and gets rid of fat, and then we'll see what we need to do to do this.
Let's start with a set of muscle mass.
Is it possible to simultaneously gain muscle mass and burn fat !?
Physiology of muscle growth
Every day, two vital processes occur in your muscles - protein synthesis and protein breakdown .
- The destruction of proteins means their breakdown into smaller components: peptides and amino acids.
- The synthesis of proteins means their new creation, as well as their smaller components.
When you are healthy and your diet is in order, muscle tissue remains in a fairly stable state. That is, the level of synthesis and decay is more or less balanced, and you do not lose or gain significant muscle volume in everyday life. (Strictly speaking, you lose muscle mass as you age, but you understand the essence of the process).
In order for the muscles to grow over time, the level of protein synthesis must exceed the level of its breakdown.
This means that the body must produce more protein than it is losing, and then muscle growth is slightly increased.
Then what should be done so that the rate of protein synthesis exceeds the rate of decay?
You must take certain actions to start and maintain this process. A rather active metabolism (metabolism) takes place in the muscles, requiring quite a lot of energy to support it. Without this, muscles will not grow.
And the main thing that you should do here is, of course, train your muscles. Strength training damages muscle cells, which signals the body to increase protein synthesis to restore muscle tissue.
Although this does not mean that, restoring the muscles, the body brings them to their previous state. He seeks to adapt to new stimuli - training - and produces new muscle cells, increasing muscle size and strength.
Studies show that progressive overload is the main condition for muscle growth.
“What is progressive overload?”, You ask? This is a gradual increase in muscle fiber tension. When you systematically give your muscles a bigger and bigger load, they constantly adapt to it, becoming bigger and stronger.
As a true weightlifter, you have to get stronger if you want to get bigger.
Of course, muscles can become stronger without an increase in size (due to increased neuromuscular activity), but there will come a time when more muscle fibers are needed to achieve the goals of your workouts.
Pamping is great and can be included in a training program, but a high rep range and exhausting sets should never be the center of attention. Such training significantly increases metabolic stress, which promotes muscle growth, but not as much as progressive overload does.
Therefore, the largest athletes in the gym, as a rule, are also the strongest, and therefore those who chase the pump, doing supersets, drop sets, giant sets, etc., do not have the same physical data.
Your main goal in training should be a constant increase in working weight.
If you don’t do this, you won’t get the benefits of progressive overload and gain a little muscle mass, regardless of what you did for this (well, unless, of course, you use “chemistry”).
Hard training and progressive overload do not guarantee muscle growth, because you must also eat right.
You have probably heard that you need to eat a lot to become bigger, and there is some truth to this.
You must consume enough protein, which creates the basis for the growth of muscle tissue, and also consume enough calories, which guarantees the most efficient protein synthesis.
However, before we talk about diet, let's look at the other side of the body's recomposition, namely burning fat.
Physiology of Fat Burning
How to make the body burn fat? Getting rid of fat is easier than you expected.
- Do not get hung up on a diet.
- No need to avoid carbohydrates, and indeed, any other food.
- You should not eat a strictly defined number of servings of food per day on a schedule.
- Do not try to manipulate hormones.
In order to avoid mistakes in weight loss, you need to properly understand the mechanics of this process - how to burn fat.
The first and most important mechanism is the energy balance .
This means the relationship between the energy that you give the body through food and the energy that is spent on cellular and physical activity. This ratio is often measured in kilocalories.
As weight loss trials over the past 100 years show, the truth is this: you must expend more energy than you consume.
You may have heard all this before, and if you are disappointed, then let me explain how to burn fat, not muscle.
When you eat food, you give the body a relatively large amount of energy in a short period of time. It burns part of this energy, and stores part of it in the form of fat for future use.
Scientifically, this process of absorption of nutrients is called "postprandial". “ Fasting ” means “after,” and “ prandial ” means “food-related.” In this postprandial state, fat burning does not occur, since the body is in a mode of conservation of body fat.
The reason for this is simple: why does the body burn fat for energy production, if you provide it in the required quantity and even more?
As a result, the body completes the digestion and absorption of food, which takes several hours, and then goes into a state that scientists call “post-absorbent”.
The energy received from food is over, but the functioning of the body must continue. What can an organism do to satisfy its energy needs?
That's right - it can burn fat. The body should now go into a “fat burning mode” to work while it waits for the next meal.
Every day, your body goes from a postprandial to a postabsorption state and back, storing and burning fat.
Here is a simple graph that demonstrates this:
The bright parts of the graph show what happens when you eat food: insulin levels increase to help absorb nutrients, and fat burning stops.
Dark areas show what happens when the energy received from a meal ends: insulin levels drop, which gives the body a signal to start burning fat.
What happens if these two parts of the graph are more or less balanced? That's right - the fat level will remain the same. The body will burn about the same amount of fat as it stores.
What happens if light parts exceed dark? Then the reserves of fat will exceed the volume of its burning, and fat deposits will increase.
And what happens if the dark parts collectively exceed the light? You burn more fat than you store, which means a decrease in total fat mass.
That is why it takes more energy to get rid of significant fat stores than you get.
It doesn't matter how many “unclean” foods are and when you ate. Your metabolism works according to the first law of thermodynamics, which means that fat reserves (energy) cannot be increased without providing an excess of energy and cannot be reduced without limiting its consumption, thereby creating an energy deficit.
- That's why studies show that low-calorie diets result in clinically significant weight loss, no matter what macronutrients they are based on.
- Therefore, Professor Mark Haub was able to lose 12 kg, sitting on a diet of protein shakes, cakes, cookies, chips and pastries.
When it comes to simply getting rid of extra pounds, calories remain calories. The body spends a certain amount of energy, and if you give it less than you need, then it has no choice but to continue to burn fat to maintain vital activity.
But what if your goal is not just to lose weight ? What if you want to get rid of fat, but not muscle mass? In this case, calories cease to be just calories. Some types of calories are becoming more important than others.
I already wrote about this in detail in my books and articles, so I will briefly outline the essence.
When you cut calories to get rid of fat, be sure to consume enough protein.
Studies show that when calories are reduced, high-protein diets are more effective in lowering body fat, and these diets also help maintain muscle and increase satiety.
How much protein should I consume?
Special government agencies recommend 0.8 g. per kilogram of body weight, but studies show that if you double or triple this amount, then this will not be enough to maintain muscle mass during the diet.
Instead, I prefer to follow the advice of scientists at Oxford University. Here's what conclusion they came to:
“The need for protein for athletes who are engaged in strength training and are on a diet will be approximately 2.3-3.1 grams. per kg body weight without fat and increase depending on the severity of the diet and muscle gain. "
Simply put, I recommend consuming 2-2.4 grams. per kg body weight with calorie restriction in order to get rid of fat.
If you have a lot of body fat (a man with 20% + fat or a woman with 30% + fat), then you can reduce this amount to 0.8 grams, and everything will be all right.
So, now you know how the body builds muscle mass, and also stores and burns fat. Let's see what happens when these 2 processes occur simultaneously.
How to simultaneously gain muscle mass and burn fat
Around the simultaneous accumulation of muscle mass and fat burning there is a lot of talk.
People sell pills, powders, programs based on top-secret technologies. Skeptics say this is not possible at all. The truth, however, is somewhere in between. Some may achieve recomposition, some may not. How to lose weight so that fat and not muscle go?
The main determining factors are the level of training and experience of the athlete. Here are 2 general principles:
- If you are new to strength training or re-start after a break, then you should not have problems with simultaneously gaining muscle mass and burning fat.
- If you train for at least 6-8 months without long breaks, then you probably won't be able to achieve recomposition.
An exception to point 2 are those who trained for a certain time, but did not focus on basic exercises with heavy weight. They are likely, like beginners, to progress quickly in the beginning, including muscle growth with a calorie deficit.
“Why are there such rules?” You ask. “Why can't anyone succeed in recomposing the body, regardless of the circumstances?”
Because from the point of view of physiology, there is an irreconcilable discrepancy between fat loss and muscle growth. Their mutual incompatibility stems from their relationship to the energy balance of the body.
When the body has a negative energy balance (calorie deficit), it reduces fat mass, but also an undesirable side effect appears: the body's ability to synthesize proteins is reduced.
You lose muscle mass when you are on a diet to burn fat. The body is not able to synthesize enough protein to balance the processes of its formation and breakdown.
Thus, if your goal is to maximize muscle growth, make sure that you are not experiencing a calorie deficit. And since it is impossible to accurately determine the daily energy expenditure, athletes who want to gain muscle mass deliberately overestimate the energy needs of the body, thus supporting a small excess of energy.
This is the scientific rationale for the statement that there should be more to become more. Although it would be more accurate to say that you must consume a little more energy than you spend in order to become more. This creates the basis for muscle growth.
That is why it is so difficult to burn fat and gain muscle mass at the same time. You limit calories and lose fat, but at the same time limit the body’s ability to build and repair muscle tissue.
As you probably already understood, building muscle with a calorie deficit requires a very high level of protein synthesis (or a very low level of protein breakdown, or both). In short, all that you can do to increase the body's ability to synthesize protein and to reduce its breakdown will help you in your quest for recomposition.
That is why beginners or those who resume training can so successfully lose fat and build muscle. Their bodies are "hyperresponsive" to training, and this outweighs the limitations on protein synthesis that are imposed by a calorie deficit.
Over time, these "privileges" beginner come to naught, however, and restrictions on the synthesis become more and more until, finally, become insurmountable. You simply cannot stimulate synthesis and inhibit decay, maintaining the balance necessary for muscle growth. This is why the goal of experienced weightlifters is to maintain muscle and strength during fat burning, rather than increasing them.
So, we fully embraced the theory of body recomposition, now let's move on to practice and talk about what you should do to achieve it.
Maintain a moderate calorie deficit
This is the basis of body recomposition. How to lose weight so that fat and not muscle go away? You must have a calorie deficit to get rid of fat, but you should not eat enough to accelerate the loss of muscle mass.
Instead, you need to maintain a moderate (20-25%) calorie deficit, which will quickly get rid of fat while maintaining muscle mass.
If you do not know how to do this, here is a simple formula that I give in my books to maintain a daily calorie deficit of about 20% if you exercise 4-6 hours a week.
- 2.4 gr. protein per kilogram of body weight per day;
- 2 gr. carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day;
- 0.4 gr. fat per kilogram of body weight per day.
This is a good starting point for most people, but it can be adjusted if you exercise more than 4-6 hours a week, or if you are a thin woman (you may need to reduce carbohydrates to 1.5 g / kg and increase fat up to 0.5 g / kg).
Once you have determined these numbers for yourself, create your daily nutrition program.
Focus on basic exercises
The idea that with the help of isolation exercises and a high range of repetitions, you will achieve the maximum possible effect, is a myth that is promoted by many athletes.
Get rid of body fat and you will look bold. One training style does not provide a greater definition than another.
When you are experiencing a calorie deficit, you should do exactly the opposite of what many people say: you need to focus on heavy basic exercises. Especially if you want to gain muscle mass and burn fat.
You must do squats, deadlift, army bench press and bench press every week, and you must do most of the work with weights of 80-85% of your 1PM (4-6 or 5-7 reps).
This is a key type of training for natural athletes who want to increase muscle mass and strength. The main "secret" of the effectiveness of a high range of repetitions and high-volume training, which fitness models talk about, is the use of chemistry. And the point.
If you, being a natural bodybuilder, go this way, then do not achieve your goals.
Do HIIT workouts instead of regular cardio
You do not have to do cardio if you want to gain weight, but at some point you will have no choice but to include cardio training in your program. In the end, you just need to spend more energy every week to continue to burn fat, since strength training you can only perform in a certain amount, otherwise you can not overtraining.
When this moment comes, you should not start to perform the usual low-intensity cardio workouts for 1-2 hours 5-7 days a week. Of course, it consumes energy and helps to get rid of fat, but it also reduces muscle mass.
Instead, do a high-intensity interval training ( HIIT) once a week for 1–2 hours . Yes, you understood everything correctly: you can work on the relief by doing cardio no more than 2 hours a week .
Do not believe? Here is the “summer version” of my body that I achieve and which I support by doing strength training for 4-5 hours a week and HIIT workouts for 2 hours a week.
I believe that short (20-25 minutes) HIIT workouts burn more fat and also preserve muscle and strength than long, low-intensity cardio workouts.
There are not many shortcuts to health and fitness, but HIIT training seems to be specifically designed for burning fat. Use it.
Get enough sleep
This point is often overlooked, however, it is extremely important for gaining muscle mass and burning fat.
If you don’t get enough sleep during the week, this will be enough to lower testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which play an important role in gaining and maintaining muscle mass and burning fat.
The amount of sleep a person needs varies, but the National Sleep Foundation (USA) recommends that an adult sleep 7-9 hours at night to avoid the effects of lack of sleep.
Take the right fat burning supplements
I am talking about supplements last, because taking them makes sense only if you are on a diet, exercise and get enough sleep.
And I’ll say for clarity: you don’t need supplements to achieve body recomposition, but they will help you achieve it if you choose them correctly.
In particular, you should achieve 3 things with supplements:
- You must maintain training intensity to help maintain muscle and strength
- you must improve the body’s ability to maintain and build muscle and strength;
- you must burn fat as quickly as possible, which minimizes the amount of time spent in conditions of calorie deficiency.
Fortunately, there are several safe, natural supplements that will help achieve each of these goals. You will find information about them below.
Supplement No. 1 for body recomposition
The first thing you need is a post-workout recovery supplement that contains 2 ingredients that help you achieve body recomposition:
Creatine is a compound of 2 amino acids. Creatine is synthesized in the human body, and its source is food.
This is the most studied supplement in the world of sports nutrition, and evidence of its effectiveness is obvious: it helps build muscle and strength even with a calorie deficit, and also reduces muscle damage and inflammation that occurs after training.
Conclusion: if you are engaged in strength training, you should take creatine.
Carnitine is a substance made up of the amino acids lysine and methionine and is involved in the production of cellular energy.
Studies show that creatine supplements reduce muscle damage and pain that occurs after exercise, as well as improve muscle recovery.
Supplement No. 2 for body recomposition
It is a caffeine-free fat burner that helps get rid of fat in 3 different ways:
- sharply increases the metabolic rate;
- enhances the action of fat burning substances formed in the body;
- enhances the feeling of satiety.
This is achieved using effective dosages of synephrine, naringin, hesperidin, forskolin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), hordein, salation, and 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan).
In addition, the caffeine-free formula means you can continue to drink coffee and your favorite caffeine-containing pre-workout drinks.
The conclusion is obvious: in combination with proper nutrition, a fat burning supplement will help to get rid of fat faster.
Supplement No. 3 for body recomposition
A pre-workout drink containing a clinically effective dosage of 7 ingredients, the effect of which is expressed in increasing energy levels, improving attention, and increasing working capacity.
The better you can maintain the intensity of your workouts during the diet, the easier it will be to maintain muscle and strength. Everything is very simple.
In addition, it is worth noting that caffeine directly helps to burn more fat, and also enhances the fat burning effect.
Now you know everything about simultaneously building muscle and burning fat.
It is not so mysterious and difficult, as many "experts" tell you. And there are no tricks and tricks to achieve this.
Maintain a moderate calorie deficit, consume a lot of protein, train hard, do HIIT workouts, take the right supplements, and the result will be.
And even if you have too much training experience to successfully achieve recomposition, you can still use everything that is written in this article to maximize fat burning and minimize muscle loss.
What is your opinion on body recomposition? Want to share it? Leave your comments below!
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