How To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time

- Dec 14, 2019-

Students who are interested in fitness should have heard that fitness is divided into two phases: muscle gain and fat loss: the muscle gain period is a period of time, eating madly, in order to maximize muscle mass; the fat reduction period is a period Limit intake over time to minimize fat loss.

And this fitness method is quoted from bodybuilders. Bodybuilders have been using this method for a long time: they will eat more and practice more during the non-season, in order to increase muscle, and in the preparation period, they will try to lose fat, in order to show muscle gain during the competition the result of.

However, this method of fitness has received a lot of criticism today. Critics say "there is no need to separate the muscle gain and fat reduction periods so specially, both can be achieved at the same time", or "the muscle gain and fat reduction periods are only suitable for bodybuilders, Because they use illegal drugs and are not suitable for the general population "or" what is to increase muscle mass and lose fat, all are nonsense, as long as you practice well, you can have a good figure ". . .

Who is right and who is wrong? Can muscle gain and fat reduction be achieved at the same time? Why do bodybuilders have to separate muscle gain and fat loss periods? For the general population, does it have to be done separately? These are the questions we have to answer today.

Muscle gain and fat loss, two different physiological phenomena

To answer the above questions, we must first understand the difference between the two in terms of physiology.


How to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time


Definition of muscle gain
Every day, in our body, billions of cells die, but there are also billions of cells regenerating. This is called cell renewal. And muscles are similar: there is a certain amount of muscle loss and a certain amount of muscle regeneration every day, which is called muscle protein renewal.

Muscle regeneration includes muscle breakdown (muscle loss) and muscle protein synthesis (muscle regeneration). Under normal circumstances, everyone's daily muscle protein updates are very small, x muscle protein is broken down, and x muscle protein is synthesized. In other words, under normal circumstances, a person's muscle mass does not change every day.

The so-called "muscle-building" means that the amount of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the amount of muscle protein degradation. ".
So, "Muscle gain" = "Protein synthesis-Proteolysis" net difference.

Muscle gain / fat reduction can be achieved at the same time?
It is theoretically possible, because muscle growth requires only two conditions, resistance training and sufficient protein, while fat loss requires only two conditions, resistance training and calorie deficit. The conditions required by the two do not conflict, so both can be achieved at the same time.

And there are many, many studies to prove this:

In the study, scientists conducted a 12-week test on a group of overweight police officers. During these 12 weeks, the police reduced their daily intake, improved their diet, increased protein intake, reduced carbohydrate and fat intake, and began progressive resistance training. After 12 weeks, their average weight did not change much, from 100kg to 98kg, but their body fat rate decreased from 26% to 18%, after losing 8kg of fat, their muscle mass also increased by 8kg! !! !! In this study, scientists recruited 31 women to participate in a 24-week training trial. Subjects did not change their diet, but after 24 weeks, the average weight decreased from 66.5kg to 64.8kg, fat decreased from 24.7kg to 22.1kg, body fat rate decreased from 34.5% to 31.8%, and lean weight decreased from 41.8kg It rose to 42.7kg. In this study, scientists studied a group of 60-year-olds. After 16 weeks of strength training, not only did these older people gain strength, they also gained 2kg in lean body mass and 2kg in body fat.

So the question we should ask is not "can both be achieved at the same time", but "who" can increase muscle and fat at the same time.

If you look closely at the three studies above, you can see that the research experimenters are all people who have never been trained before. In other words, novices have the ability to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
This is why, when many students first started to exercise, although they were trying to lose fat, they had worked hard for a long time and worked hard to control their diet, but their weight had not changed. It is because of the "novice effect": at the beginning of exercise, any person who has never exercised at the beginning of the exercise reacts very strongly at the beginning, and will release a large amount of growth hormones, hormones, etc. to help muscle, bone, and connective tissue Grow. So even if the initial goal is to reduce fat, even if there is a control of daily intake, due to the novice effect, weight will be maintained, or even increased, because fat loss is also increasing muscle.
Another can explain why novices can increase muscle mass and lose fat at the same time: most novices are overweight and have too much body fat, and when they start dieting, because they store too much energy, their bodies "think" they are on a calorie Shengyu's state (intake> consumption), so it can be achieved at the same time.

However, there is another group of people who can also increase muscle mass and lose fat at the same time, that is, people who have previously practiced but stopped for a long time due to various reasons.
The reason they can do both at the same time is because of the "muscle memory" effect. In simple terms, muscle has "memory". Whenever it has a certain dimension, it is very easy to recover to the previous dimension.
So many people stop for a long time, after losing a lot of muscle mass, after adding a lot of fat, and then start exercising, even if the body is in a calorie deficit state, they can quickly recover the previous muscle mass. .

Can those who have a certain training experience and effect or who have not stopped training can not gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? They can also gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but the effect is not as obvious as the first two.

In this study, scientists tested a group of senior elite gymnasts. Athletes were asked to follow a ketogenic diet, consuming about 1970 calories a day, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 200 grams of protein, and 120 grams of fat. After 30 days, these gymnasts not only lost 1kg of fat, reduced their body fat rate from 7.6% to 5%, but also increased their muscle mass deficit by 0.3kg! Gain muscle in such a low fat condition! In this study, scientists tested a group of IFBB female athletes. These athletes are preparing for the race, and researchers have tested them three times, the first before the season, the second after the game, and the third after a period of recovery. It was found that their average weight dropped from 64.3kg to 56.5kg, their body fat dropped from 14.6kg to 7.1kg, and their lean weight increased by 0.4kg. In this study, scientists tested a group of senior rugby players. The athletes did not reduce their daily intake, but made some changes to the distribution of macronutrients and increased their protein intake. After the trial, the average weight of these athletes did not change significantly, but their lean weight increased from 76.5kg to 77.8kg, and their body fat dropped from 22.4kg to 21.1kg.

These several studies have found that even people with extensive training experience can increase muscle mass and reduce fat at the same time, but the muscle gain effect is not very obvious.

Summary: Not only can fat loss and muscle gain be achieved at the same time, but almost everyone can do both.