If you’re like many people, you don’t want to just build muscle, you want to learn how to gain muscle and lose fat.
You want the complete body transformation.
You want to look big, strong, muscular, and ripped.
So, what does it take to lose fat and gain muscle?
What’s the best way to go about this goal?
You might already know that you require a calorie surplus to build muscle and a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Because of this, many people have often stated that it’s impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. You can do one or the other – you have to choose one goal and focus on it only.
Is this really correct?
Let’s take a closer look into the issue of how to gain muscle not fat and what you can do about it.
The Concept Of Building Muscle While You Burn Fat
First things first, you have to understand the concept of how you can go about building muscle while also burning fat.
Since this objective does require you to utilize two very different diet approaches, what you’re going to need to do is use a zig-zag approach.
There are two ways that you can do this.
1. The Two Week Approach
The first way is to dedicate a period of two weeks to building lean muscle mass and once that period is over, switch over and dedicate another two week period to working towards the goal to burn fat.
The advantage here is that after about two weeks, the body starts adapting. This means that if you’re eating a higher calorie intake, the body may not be building up muscle as quickly (and could be actually adding more fat instead) and likewise, after two weeks of a very low calorie diet, the body is going to slow its metabolism down, making it harder and harder to see results.
So, by shifting gears every two weeks, you help ensure that you’re maximizing both processes since you’re going to keep your body guessing.
Additionally, having the variety in the plan helps to keep you interested and committed to the program, which is also very important for maximum results.
2. The Weekly Approach
The second approach that you can use to help lose fat and gain muscle is the weekly approach where you incorporate both set-ups into your full weekly period.
In this scenario, you would dedicate your weight lifting days to muscle building days and then dedicate your off or cardio days to your fat loss days.
Calorie intake would be adjusted according to whichever day it was and your body would constantly be shifting in and out of fat burning or muscle building mode.
This type of set-up tends to work great for those who struggle with high or low calorie eating for longer periods of times since every other day you’re doing something different.
Most will be able to get through one hard day of dieting without too many problems when they know the next day they get to feast.
The Rate Of Progress
Now, before getting into the actual set-up description, you’ll want to make note that when working towards both goals at once, progress will be slower.
This is the price you’re going to pay since you are aiming to do two things at once and that’s never going to be as productive as attacking one goal as hard as possible.
Fortunately, the advantage to this is that you’ll stay very lean throughout the entire muscle building period and completely avoid a lengthy diet period that many people have to go through after reaching their goal weight.
As long as you know ahead of time that your progress may be a little on the slow side and are willing to accept that, then you’re all prepared for the set-up and design.
How To Structure Your Program
The first thing you’ll do is set your total weekly calorie intake. Figure out how many calories it takes to maintain your body weight (most people will require 15-16 calories per pound) and then multiply that by seven.
Once you have that number, add 1500 calories to it to get your total weekly calorie intake goal. This will produce a weight gain at about a rate of half a pound per week, which is going to be ideal for staying lean and burning up fat while you build the muscle.
After arriving at that number, you want to designate high calorie days and low calorie days. Aim to make your high calorie days around 700-800 calories over and above maintenance to really promote solid muscle building and then make your low calorie days around 400-500 calories below maintenance to promote fast fat loss.
Just remember that the total of all seven days must equate out to your total weekly calorie target that you figured out above.
Once you have your calorie targets set for each day, then place your weight lifting days on the high calorie days and your cardio days on the low calorie days. Make sure protein is high and carbs are low on the low calorie days and protein is high and carbs are also high on the muscle building days.
This ensures you’re feeding the body the nutrients it needs when you need to build muscle and getting the body burning up body fat when you’re on the cutting days.
If you choose to do the two week approach instead, then add 500 calories per day to your maintenance calorie intake for 14 days straight and then subtract 500 calories per day for the fat loss period and use that for 14 days straight.
So there you have the information necessary to learn how to gain muscle and lose fat. While this process does take a little more intricate planning, it will really pay off in the end when you see the results that it delivers.
For help figuring out a precise plan to follow, please check out the No-Nonsense Muscle Building program.
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