2018 In Shape: How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle Mass

The goal of many people who start in bodybuilding is to gain lean mass and lose fat . I bet you also told someone that was your goal.

But the two processes do not happen significantly at the same time. Let us understand why this is so and see how planning must be done to achieve this goal.

Training is a muscular stimulus that will lead to body adaptations. So the benefit of exercise does not occur at the time of training, but rather during recovery .

From this principle we can imagine three scenarios :

Little stimulation and lots of recovery: People who go to the gym infrequently (1 or 2 times a week).

Much stimulation and little recovery: People who go to the gym very often and train in excess (6 times a week in most cases, or 2 times a day, or even combine bodybuilding with another activity every day without thinking about consequences).

A lot of stimulation and a lot of recovery : The person who trains in an ideal way (usually 4 to 5 workouts per week).

The preparation of your training will vary according to your objective . So considering the ideal person quoted in scenario # 3 above, let’s take a few tips:



Training should be frequent (at least 3 times a week, but ideally 4 or 5) and should work 100% or at least 50% of the body (upper and lower, for example), since it is necessary to generate the highest expenditure energy possible.

The need to perform aerobic exercises should be analyzed individually. It is possible to lose weight without performing aerobes. But this tool can be used 2 to 5 times a week.


Training that involves the same muscles should be performed at a low frequency, ie you should train the whole body in a piecemeal fashion (eg pectoralis 1 or 2 times a week), since it is necessary to promote a great stimulus and give time so that the musculature recovers .

Aerobic training should be minimized because it directly impacts recovery, increases energy expenditure and, depending on when it is performed, impacts the stimulation of resistance training (concurrent training).

But the main reason you can not achieve both goals at the same time is linked to nutrition . Although this reason is very simple, we will try to clarify more deeply.



To lose weight you have to spend more energy than you consume. The explanation for this process is that although you may have some energy expenditure during the activity (which may come mostly from muscle glycogen – carbohydrate – or from fat – fatty acids), this energy is small compared to basal energy expenditure body spent just to keep you alive, ie what your body spends without you doing any activity) and, mainly, spending on activities throughout the day.

This means that you will burn fat mainly during rest and not during activity. That’s why intense training and using carbohydrate as the main energy source are efficient for weight loss.


Already to hypertrophy you have to consume more energy than you spend. Your body during rest will try to overcompensate not only the increase in muscle protein content, but also your glycogen and water stores.

Therefore, a part of the muscular volume you gain comes from a greater accumulation of energy sources in the body which subsequently uses a part of the surplus nutrients to build muscle mass.

Your body tends to prioritize glucose buildup instead of protein synthesis. This is because the organism is always on alert, prepared to flee or fight, and for this, it always needs to replenish the energy stocks . In addition to that, your brain basically runs the glycogen base and your body will always prioritize this vital organ.


One of the most common thoughts about eating in the attempt to hypertrophy and slimming at the same time is related to increasing the consumption of protein foods (muscle building blocks) and reducing the consumption of energy foods such as carbohydrates and lipids.

It occurs that your body has the ability to take nitrogen from the protein and use it as a carbohydrate. That is, a part of the protein that you consume will turn into glucose. In this process, nitrogen that has been removed will be excreted and its excess will generate a “damage” to your body.

Therefore, increasing intake of protein sources and decreasing intake of carbohydrate sources is not a good idea .

Still in this line of thinking, as your body will become very efficient in using protein as an energetic form, consequently the use of that nutrient for the actual goal which is the synthesis of tissue (muscle mass) will get less effective.

So there are no miracles or diets that make you lose fat and gain mass at the same time in a meaningful way . The best way is to have your diet and training programmed so that you can get the results you expect in the shortest possible time – whether it’s losing fat by keeping lean mass or gaining lean mass with minimal fat accumulation.


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