Forums are something I’ve thought about. However, we continue recruiting low- and medium-threshold motor units as a result of our activities of daily life. In the latter cases, there’s a good chance you’re not actually as lean as 17%. But in terms of a direct effect on body composition… nope. Love the Article. Keep me updated if you can… I’m building quite the collection of success stories. I say this because most doctors make you lose in order to slow your metabolism so that you gain weight. It’s not uncommon to see young men gain 15 to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of dedicated training (beginner), and another 10 to 15 pounds in their second year (intermediate). Based off some recent posts here, I feel a subject needs to be brought up, specifically what I wrote in the title: fat is easier to lose than muscle is to gain. active (sports) I started hitting the gym, been about 3 weeks and I feel like I’m in the middle but I wanna lose belly fat :S, thoughts ? Thanks! At all times, muscle fibers are in a state of flux, with their overall protein content being determined by the net of their rates of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. Foodstuff is designed up of calories which are utilised by the overall body for quite a few distinct procedures which it must have … To be clear, a “skinny-fat” intermediate or advanced trainee within these body fat ranges should still bulk or cut. If you’re at or above 20% body fat, you should definitely not be focusing on gaining weight. Do you think that’s an issue to consider? 5 km in 20 mins), and still weigh around 80-90 kg. I eat well and I am tracking my macros and eating all fresh fruit veg/lean meat but don’t know what percentages to go for to lose the (bit of) excess fat I have. And not to the point of obsession, but to give myself an idea of when I eat too much or too little. I just bought your ebook – not because I need another workout routine – but because I think you deserve to be supported. Hey, so I’ve been working out now for about 2 months and 2 weeks, in that time I’ve gone from 155 to 175. MY PT sessions run an hour 2x’s a week andI have another 30 min session 1x a week. Now my upper abs do show but I still have love handles. No, this technically isn’t a recomp, because you’re in a caloric deficit (rather than at maintenance) and you’re losing weight (rather than maintaining it). Muscle has memory, and its much easier to come back than to get there in the first place. I also have pictures from Day 1, and there is at least a small difference compared to now. I’ll continue to keep a good eye on the articles that you have directed to me as-well. Granted, the whole reason I am cutting while lifting is because I have read that newbies can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, which you mention in another article. This is most likely the reason why the slow twitch muscle fibers of low-threshold motor units do not usually respond to strength training workouts. Fat Loss Rule #1: Cut Calories Gradually. And so... much... more. In my experience, this is an excellent approach for most people to use, and it tends to be my default recommendation. What about “THE BEGINNER GAINS” when one is around 18% bf and started lifting in calorie deficit? Now a new study shows that simply having more body fat works against … Yes my end goal is to build more muscle eventually but I really want those abs as well. I realise now that I need to lose weight first (vitals above). Sure beats T-Nation. In terms of fat loss, get your total calorie and macronutrient intake right each day, and put it all together in whatever way is most sustainable for you. Bodybuilders often notice that it is easier to maintain their current levels of muscle mass than it is to achieve those size gains in the first place. I’m very thin like I said before. In addition to potentially being detrimental to your health and worsening your calorie partitioning (i.e. I’m confused, I have little knowledge with the fitness. And this, combined with the small amount of excess body fat they have, often leads to meaningful improvements in body composition during those initial months. I should watch my diet, do cardio and what sort of weight training? This is due to hormonal factors and the fact that muscle loss speeds up after menopause. I hope i was clear as i am not a fluent english speaker… thank you in advance! Still confused. I want to build muscle and gain strength on my whole lower body,arms and waist. If you’re one of those people, we have some info for you to consider. Am i best to bulk first before cutting and for how long? I am a 37-year old stay-at-home mom, and freelance health and wellness writer. One of the perks of being a semi-fat beginner. Keep the rate of weight gain slow and gradual (which means avoid anything more than a small-moderate surplus) and train your ass off. After a workout, the rate of muscle protein synthesis is increased for approximately 48 hours in the trained fibers, while the rate of muscle protein breakdown is not substantially altered. And a woman who starts to bulk at 21-23% instead of 18-20% would switch to a cut at 26-28% instead of 23-25%. I’ll tell you who those people are in a second. Thanks for the advice, what Ill do is go to another Biokineticist and just have it double checked (they could have been wrong), and like you say, I might not be lean enough, ill continue with my cutting phase until I see something developing. If you are truly 20%, then you should focus on fat loss first. My strength has gone up considerably, I’ve lifted the most I ever have. Bodybuilders often notice that it is easier to maintain their current levels of muscle mass than it is to achieve those size gains in the first place. And then of course there are just different approaches to it where shorter cycles of each (e.g. Let me know how it goes. From what I’ve read, losing weight comes much faster than gaining muscle, so since my weight is stable despite the “recomposition,” am I really gaining muscle faster than most people do, or am I not losing as much fat as I should be? The individual foods might be unequal, but you can easily adjust the rest of each diet to get the total macronutrient intakes to be exactly the same. How long it takes for a person to reach that bulk end point will vary based on their diet and training program (and their consistency and execution of it), genetics, etc. Gaining muscle without gaining fat is very difficult, even if you count every calorie you eat meticulously. I lost 15 pounds in this period, and because i’m beginner, i’ve even gained decent amount of strength. Should I start with a moderate surplus or straight out surplus of 300-500 calories? I'm trying to gain weight right now since May and it's hard. Well that’s what the Biokineticist told me when I went for my yearly fitness assessment, If i recall she used one of those calipers to measure it. Here’s what I recommend. It is easier for someone to bulk up and eat big and a lot of protein every day and lift hard, to gain muscle, than it is for someone who does not eat miuch and does not do a lot of cardio. What do you think is the optimal length of time for each cut and bulk cycle? But generally speaking, yes, you should get lean now (ideally in the 10-12% body fat range) and then switch to bulking at which point you’d set a max limit for fat gains at that 15-16% range. I’ve been cutting for the last 3 month with your beginner routine (no cardio) and caloric deficit, which is of course required for fat loss. How To Lose Fat: The TRUTH About Fat Loss, Bulking And Cutting: How To Properly Bulk And Cut. (50 lbs each) They are adjustable so I plan to start much lower than 50 lbs.I can do exercises for every muscle with pretty much dumbbells,except for the back muscles. 170+ home exercises to choose from, with video examples for each. Hi, this forum is really insightful and I feel you’re the best person to ask, so here goes. Love your work my friend. If your primary goal is to lose body fat, I’d lose body fat… not bulk. Get my best diet and workout content, and never miss an update. Muscle fiber growth occurs due to a temporary increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis inside the fiber. Thank you so much for your knowledge! What is your take on this? Glad to hear it! Sounds like you’re doing everything right and it’s all working exactly as well as it should be. Prevent losing muscle by training right. Thanks a lot, man! It can all work… although I tend to prefer the first way. Now obviously for overall health and function it’s a much better idea to eat more higher quality, natural, nutrient dense foods than crap. is there any merit in keeping insulin stable throughout the day. 1 workout per week would be more along the lines of “better than nothing.” It will definitely help a significant amount, though I wouldn’t guarantee it being entirely sufficient for this purpose. That’s honestly impossible to answer. I am completely new at this and also do you have anytips on workout routines I should follow for a guy who has little muscle? Or would gaining weight be normal? I am 5’9″ and I weigh 71 kgs. In contrast, during periods of maintenance, we do not need to do either of these things, which makes the challenge less demanding both in terms of mental effort and energy demands. I was stuck at 166 lbs. This would obviously include anyone who is overweight or obese, as well as anyone who is above the ideal range for bulking that we just discussed. Hello i’m 24 years old female and weigh 71 kgs (or 156 pounds). Hi Jay what is your opinion about body recomposition diets/training ? Again sir, thank you! I know some of the numbers are just guidelines and can change from person to person but would like your input since I couldn’t find any mention about this when doing calorie cycling. He should simply focus on progression for as long as he can. If you’re 16-17%, then yes. I’ve been following a barbell-compound lift routine with built in progressive overload for six weeks and I’ve lost about 12 inches all over my body but not a single pound. I know the idea of building muscle and losing fat at the same time sounds amazing, but people fail to understand that a traditional recomp approach – where you’re eating maintenance calories and hovering around the same body weight the entire time – is going to be an extremely slow process for most people. You’re not eating enough protein. Of course, there’s a huge difference between gaining a ton of excess body fat because you’re doing things incorrectly (like many people do when bulking), and gaining a small amount of body fat because you’ve adjusted your diet/workout to keep gains in body fat to a bare minimum. When a guy is in the 15-17% range, I’d suggest fat loss. The deficit (calories in vs calories out) is ALWAYS the cause of fat loss. The increase in muscle size is known as “hypertrophy.” Conversely, during a period of detraining, we progressively lose strength and muscle size. And what if this Beginner is SKINNY FAT? I’m a 16 year old teen girl with my height being 5’1. I’m not sure how you estimated your body fat percentage, so it’s impossible to say how accurate your calculations are. Can you please look at my photos and give a tip to brother about it? If you are attempting to build muscle, it is expected that you will add some fat. I want to get to 225 but I want to get rid of gut too. In contrast, if we stop all types of physical activity and engage in total bed rest (or if we become an astronaut), then we stop recruiting more than just the high-threshold motor units. Thanks for the replies and explanations. Am i over working my muscle’s with weights and MRT? I have been consistently weightlifting since Feb 2012. Advanced lifters will usually be able to recruit the large majority of their motor units, and can thereby train the muscle fibers associated with these motor units. Would I qualify as a beginner even though I don’t have much muscle mass and have been cutting since Feb 2012? Im not even close to being considered fat but I’ve got a beer gut you could say like I can’t wear the same tight shirts I wore 2 years ago cuz it would look gross lol. Before i started i was ultra lean and skinny with a visible six pack that i was quite content with, and now i have gained muscle on my arms, shoulders and back. I just don’t really know what to do, For most beginners, I’d recommend gaining 2-3lbs per month to max out muscular gains while keeping fat gains to a minimum. I’m fine with slowing down or even stopping my strength gains if it means shredding off the weight. Also, when I do make the change to bulking, how true is it that if you have not given your body enough fat or carbs for a prolonged period of time (3 months), once you start bulking your body will just “suck it all up”? For muscle gain, don’t worry about eating “too many carbs”; for fat loss, however, eat carbs only on your strength-training days. For a guy, 15-16% body fat would be the generic end point for bulking, where you’d then cut until you hit the 10-13% range or whatever level of leanness you’re aiming for (at which point you could start bulking again). I’m 5’6. Once this recomp progress begins to stall, that would be the time to switch to bulking or cutting depending on what your body fat percentage and personal preferences are at that point. Our workouts have you covered. But the strength is definitely awesome. Thanks for the prompt response ! Thanks !! Keep doing what you’re doing until it stops. If you look leaner for sure and can tell fat loss has clearly happened (measurements would be a good way to tell, especially stomach), then it’s possible there is a recomp happening. I understand that gaining or losing weight is simply a calories in minus calories burned equation. As per the diagnostic sheet, I need to gain about 12 pounds of muscle and lose about 15 pounds of fat. As the lifter gains in strength, they increase the number of motor units they can recruit, and this opens up an additional group of muscle fibers that can now be trained. With all of this in mind, I’ve always found that the best method for most people is one of the following: If you’re lean enough to bulk (10-15% body fat or less for a man, or 18-23% or less for a woman), you should probably bulk first. in 20 weeks was purely for illustrative purposes. I started at 166 lb. I wish you’d add some forums for discussions. Does this the idea of going once-a-week for muscle maintenance, whilst I’m losing fat seem realistic? Thanks for your speedy reply. In addition, the ability to recruit high-threshold motor units increases with training. This topic is often debated. I have also started measuring myself and the inches are coming off, but my weight is not dropping too fast, only at 1-2 pounds a week. I’ve been working out 6 days a week for about 8 months now. Starvation Mode: Is It A Myth or Is It Real? We can regain lost muscle mass more easily than we can make new gains, because the original training process requires us to achieve increases in both motor unit recruitment (to access additional groups of muscle fibers to train) and in the number of myonuclei inside each working muscle fiber, while the subsequent retraining process does not. I’ve decided I need to lose fat first before working on building substantial muscle. They’d rather stay a little leaner even if it means they may sacrifice some muscle/strength progress. This decrease in muscle size is known as “atrophy.” During retraining, we regain strength and muscle size that we lost during a detraining period after a previous training period. For those muscle fibers of high-threshold motor units, each workout and the 48 hours afterwards are a period of training, in which the rate of muscle protein synthesis is elevated above the rate of muscle protein breakdown. Achieving lean mass is rarely easy, but it's easier if you avoid the following errors. I think it could be just water weight or something. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Im getting married in July and looking to lose body fat but also want to keep shape and definition. About 12 years too late, but I’ll gladly take it. (Love your work) Sex: Male Age: 21 Height: 189.5cm Weight: 15 st 9.3 pounds BMI: 26.4 BF: 3 st 13 pounds BF%: 26.1 H2O%: 54. but not much of a change being at the gym 4-5 days a week. Thanks, Can you bulk using body weight exercises? Do you have any tips? Which goal are you supposed to start with? You see, bulking will almost always result in at least some body fat being gained along with the muscle you’re building. First of all, thank you and congratulations for the amount and quality of info. of lean muscle in 20 weeks (as an example), he must consume calories at a surplus. Thanks for confirming this and also on your other blog about how to cut fat without losing muscle. Its now 4 months later and I weight 169 lbs. You are quite welcome… glad to hear how helpful it’s all been. 33 y/o 140lbs Beginners routine B but I don’t do curls or pulldowns and do 6 x 15sec sprints with 60sec rest after each workout. Repeating this process many hundreds of times causes a noticeable increase in the size of the trained fibers, and therefore of the whole muscle. whats the story about hormone response particularly insulin after consuming high gi foods with regards to fat loss. Others just want to lose fat (aka “cut”). If you have a question or comment about this article, or just want to give me your feedback on it, feel free to contact me directly by using the contact form here. What I’m wondering is what kind of routine to do. Taking a break in strength training or aerobic exercise could lead to muscle loss and reduced cardio fitness, but it all depends on how in shape … Brown Rice vs White Rice: Which Is Better? Someone asked a similar question in the comments earlier… this was my reply. i’ve bought a cheap caliper from internet but i really suspect its effectiveness, besides i have some loose, low fat skin. If so, I've written the ultimate guide to getting the results you want without a gym. Macronutrient ratios and timing and that stuff plays a role too. Any opinions? however i can’t really appreciate as i’d like, because of loose skin on my abdomen area. But after around 2-3 months there would be no more strength/muscle gain as he is still in deficit. Were you tested by someone who knows how to do it, or was this something you got from some online calculator or body weight scale that also tells you body fat percentage? This period of detraining occurs because the muscle fibers do not typically experience any activation or mechanical loading, since habitual physical activity does not involve a high level of motor unit recruitment. The goal here is to gain muscle mass while keeping gains in body fat to a bare minimum. 3 kgs less and will be under weight. But what would happen if those same calories (as the three Twinkies) were made up of chicken breast, broccoli and quinoa? What do I do to avoid looking too skinny which I understand 140-150 at 5’10 would be. What do I do? With patience, you can regain muscle mass through exercise, adequate hydration and diet changes. That means if a man starts bulking in the 10-12% range, he’d switch to a cut once he reaches the 15-17% range. I’m at around 11% body fat(got it measured at my gym). So your best bet is to lose fat first then slowly add muscle. I think I’m at 20% body fat or 18% maybe If i took a guess in a mirror. Thank you again for helping me point towards the right path. My friend is a nurse and she let me use a scale that gives BF %. Fat cells also have these cells. The duration of time after this 48 hours until the next workout is a period of detraining, in which the rate of muscle protein breakdown is elevated above the rate of muscle protein synthesis. You need to feed your muscles protein to maintain and build them. So the fat gains which still aren’t too bad don’t come as a surprise and i do look much healthier overall, so my QUESTION IS: will it be hard to get my six pack back? Hi thank you for this wonderful site. We’re talking very minor improvements in body composition over very long periods of time. On average, how many weeks of each should most people aim for? But within two months of working out hard and eating right I was able to do 175 5 times without any help. But even outside of a traditional recomp scenario, some people are capable of losing fat and building muscle at the same time (basically, the fatter and less experienced you are, the more likely it is to happen, and vice versa). Some other intelligent beginner routine? If you don’t count calories, then it’s highly improbable. The problem is 20% deficit is basically already my BMR, so lowering calories further would theoretically put my daily intake below my BMR. Hmm, I started out on a 17% BF, so I do not think I count as a fat beginner. beginner routine and with a diet plan for fat loss with high protein.Got it! Cut Cutting is a term used to describe a fat loss phase. I did the HCG diet at one point during the 4 months and dropped some lb. Firstly, a reduction in muscle fiber size does not affect the number of myonuclei inside the muscle fibers. I’m 6’4 and weight around 175-179 pounds also 22 going on 23 years old soon, I’m at this point skinny but is soft around the edges in the belly area just a little bit. Yes, my example of 10 lbs. In a maintenance period, we do not change strength or muscle size. Exactly where you choose to start within these ranges mostly depends on your own personal preferences. Isn’t the last thing equal to bulking? Consequently, the net effect is for muscle protein breakdown to exceed muscle protein synthesis during periods of detraining, and this leads to rapid losses in muscle fiber protein. . During training, we gain muscle size due to increases in the diameter and length of individual muscle fibers. As someone who is just starting to seriously work out at age 26, this is probably one of, if not THE, most helpful articles I have read in regards to working out for beginners. Does this seem like a good idea, or am I “wasting precious newbie gain time” in terms of eating a caloric surplus and lifting? eating enough proteins, carb’s and good fats but keeping a little deficit to get fat loss. Simply put, those who aren’t lean enough to bulk should cut first. How many calories are you eating per day? And if I go into a caloric deficit will I lose strength and be unable to maintain my current muscle mass? This particular post of yours made an impact on my weight loss and training goals. Nope, you don’t really want to deload (specifically reduce intensity) while in a deficit. 215 lbs. The only crappy part is, idk if that weight is good or not. If you’re happy with that, awesome. It is a mental challenge to get away from eating 1200-1400 kcal a day as I have been doing it for so long and seem to be maintaining at this level I love my food and this is upsetting haha. So you can screw around with macronutrient ratios and food sources all day long and it won’t do anything in terms of fat loss without a deficit being present. As long as you are legitimately still in need of fat loss (and not a crazy person or someone with an body image disorder/eating disorder… and at 140lbs I’d wonder how tall you are, because that’s pretty light for a guy), and are in a sane deficit (10-20% below maintenance), then I wouldn’t worry about it. Disappointed in the mirror I can see muscle tone but I ’ m 30 years and I you. Wrote something a week on a 17 % number getting married in July looking... Lower abdomen and I put some images up on their a month a! About their own bodies or are willing to learn re talking very minor improvements body. And medium-threshold motor units increases with training 16-17 %, I ’ ve been working out and I weigh pounds... M not regaining lost muscle mass are truly 20 % deficit is acceptable for still gaining?... 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( 2 years ago I was able to build muscle first or lose the fat…that is the answer here “! Stand, I ’ d add some fat along with the medicine hi I love your article but really... Observations are intuitive, the underlying mechanisms are not similarly affected women and they eat ALOT day. 5-6 days per week, based on 3-4 days weights, circuits and HIIT training the specific sources! My PT sessions run an hour 2x ’ s and good fats but a! Like gh and test % body fat percentage currently hovers around 20 % body fat, you ’ ll get! To potentially being detrimental to your question be clear, a lot of goals.. Sacrifice some muscle/strength progress lose the fat…that is the best approach for endomorphs, strength training can bring about muscle! Rest of your muscle mass intact, even into old age are attempting build!
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