Gaining Muscle While Losing Body Fat? I USED to be a skeptic.
In the past… I was brainwashed to believe that muscle gains required bulking up then leaning down. Over the past 2-3 years I have changed my thinking completely.
Here are two guys on the cutting edge in thinking when it comes to muscle gain, fat loss, etc.
* Martin Berkhan – of “Lean Gains”
Martin Berkhan is a freak show when it comes to staying lean
…but I mean that in a good way.
Like me and quite a few others, he likes to use intermittent fasting as a way of staying lean year round. Martin believes that there should be minimal fat gain when adding muscle.
The title of his blog, Lean Gains, says it all… “Maximizing Muscle Gain While Minimizing Fat Gain”.
Here are some quotes from his site:
…cycling between overfeeding (training days) and slight underfeeding (rest days) is another excellent strategy to remain lean regardless of your goal. The benefits are not only physiological, but also behavioral.
My comments: I have done this in the past with success. I could certainly see the benefit of adding in some slight overfeeding especially if someone was far from their genetic potential in adding muscle.
…I’ve never been a fan of the bulk and cut approach. An approach often taken to the extreme by some of my peers, with the net result being that they only look decent during the summer months.
My comments: People who use the “bulk and cut” approach more often than not underestimate how much fat they have to lose.
This usually means they don’t get lean until summer is almost over.
* Tom Venuto – of “Burn the Fat Blog”
Tom Venuto isn’t someone I quote often, but he writes well thought-out posts over on his blog. He also has one of the best selling fitness ebooks of all-time (I think it was one of the first ebooks I ever purchased).
Here’s his strategy.
…what if most days of the week you were in a deficit for the entire day, and on some days you were in a surplus? If so, then isn’t it possible that over the course of the week, you’d have a small net gain of muscle and loss of body fat a a result of the caloric fluctuation?
My comments: Tom also suggests timing your meals around your workouts in this quote…
…it’s entirely possible that you might pass through periods of “within-day” surplus where you were in a highly anabolic state (for example, you eat the biggest, highest carb meal of the day after your workout), and you were in a deficit the rest of the day.
Isn’t it possible that you could gain a small amount of muscle during those anabolic hours, while losing fat the rest of the day? Granted it might only be grams or ounces – but what if you kept that up for a week? A month? Three months?
My comments: This is a strategy that I have seen people use with success.
So No Need to Add Fat When Gaining Muscle
Increase calorie intake around your workouts… and stay in a strong deficit the rest of the time.
This is healthier and more effective than “bulking up” and looking chubby for a large part of the year.