Paul Revelia has made another good video on YouTube here, on circuit training vs…
We all want the best of both worlds, and we want it all now. We want to gain muscle and lose fat AT THE SAME TIME. It’s understandable. Muscle looks good. Broad shoulders and a narrow wasitline looks good. Low body fat sharpens everything up, which also looks good.
So we should pursue both at the same time, right?
Only if you’re a beginner. If you are a beginner, then you’re in luck, as you can absolutely have both at the same time.
If you’re a beginner, you need to do the following, in order:
- Learn the BIG SIX movements’ technique, and get used to performing them
- Get on a good, solid program with weekly (or daily) progressive overload
- Get into a modest calorie deficit (about 10-15%), using Intermittent Fasting to make this as easy and as sustainable as possible
The BIG SIX are:
Learn how to do them, and you’ll have a functional, real-world strength base for life. These are the movements that train your muscles, joints and CNS to move as a unit. Machines will never do this.
The next action is to get on a good training program. There needs to be guaranteed progressive overload every week, with optional daily overload (depending on your performance).
Progressive overload is the increasing difficulty of each workout, which is what will get you bigger, stronger and more muscular. This can take the form of increased sets, reps, or weight on the bar.
A great example of this progressive overload is my James Bond program. The training is split into four week blocks, and each week (within the block) has an extra set for each of the key movements. But within each workout, the last set is an AMRAP set (as many reps as possible), which allows for extra progression per workout due to increased reps.
This is an extra progressive overload pathway which is dependent upon your daily performance, and it will sure as hell get you bigger and stronger as FAST as possible.
If you’re a beginner, you WILL gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, provided you stick to the modest calorie deficit.
When getting yourself into an energy deficit, there’s a few things to consider.
Firstly, you need to make sure your diet is sustainable, which is something I’ve harped on about for years. Going zero carb in a carb-filled world isn’t sustainable. Nor is increasing the deficit by more than 20%. Nor is being a complete hermit and never allowing yourself any social life, or any dietary freedom at social events.
Discipline comes first, but you also need freedom to some degree. Intermittent Fasting will bring you this freedom, due to the enormous calorie buffer you will have in the evenings.
Secondly, remember that the goal is to gain muscle. Which requires protein. And when you’re in a calorie deficit, you need protein even more than normal. So definitely get at least 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight. Possibly closer to 1 gram per pound if you’re below 15% body fat.
To summarise, yes you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. It’s magic. But make sure that you’re focusing on the compound movements, you’re on a good training program that guarantees weekly progression, and you’re dieting in a sustainable manner.