You’ve been lied to.
I hate to be the one to tell you this but you’ve been consistently fed false information.
And, it has to do with something that you really want.
The gold standard of fitness goals …
The ultimate result where you lose body fat, build muscle and look better naked.
Call it what you want … leaner, more toned, more fit, jacked, defined … it’s all a combination of body recomp – more muscle, less fat.
But you’ve been lied to.
Have you been told these lies about how to build muscle?
You’ve been told that in order to accomplish this epic result that you have to eat very little to lose fat.
And, then you have to eat a lot to build muscle.
You’ve also been told that the scale is irrelevant when trying to recomp.
You may have even been told that when the scale is consistently going up that it’s probably muscle.
Probably a lie.
It sucks being lied to.
Not a fun feeling at all.
Don’t worry though, in most cases it likely wasn’t intentional.
And even if it was … you at least learned a lesson and have more information to make better decisions moving forward.
So, let’s start speaking some truth, shall we?
How to build muscle and achieve the right body composition
Body recomposition can happen in two ways:
2. In phases
Everyone wants it to happen simultaneously, but that’s a little more difficult.
Not impossible by any stretch, just more difficult.
The prime time for body recomp to occur simultaneously (where you lose fat and build muscle at the same time) is when you’re brand new to lifting.
The new stimulus of resistance training is so powerful that most people royally screw up the nutrition side of things and it doesn’t matter.
Case in point, every new Crossfitter who went very low carb and still gained strength and muscle in their first few months of CrossFit.
However, that beautiful period of newbie gains runs its course and then frustration typically settles in because you hit that wall. Like WTF.
Then, some ill-informed coach is like … oh, you just need to cut calories more.
So you do. And, it works for a short while. Then you stall, you get angry, you binge, and then you gain it all back.
Like I mentioned, you’ve been fed a bunch of lies.
Low calories may not be the best body recomp solution
Dropping calories too low is not going to help you achieve body recomp.
It’ll certainly mess with your energy, mood, consistency, hunger, cravings, strength, performance, and will prime you for weight regain.
So, if that’s what you’re going for … then have at it.
Where was I?
Ah, yes, the newbie gains period.
That’s not the only time you can achieve body recomp simultaneously.
You can actually pursue it whenever you want.
Just remember, it’s more difficult than doing it in phases.
One thing that helps is to keep your deficits very small.
Like pretty close to maintenance.
The most important fact that you probably didn’t know (ya know, because of all the lies and whatnot) is that muscle building is not ONLY driven by calories.
Fact: a calorie surplus is NOT required in order for you to build muscle.
Does it help? Maybe.
But, it’s not required.
There are many studies that show muscle building while in a deficit.
There are also studies that show muscle building when no strength training was done at all (and the subjects simply took exogenous testosterone).
Where muscle building REALLY comes from
So, what does that tell us?
That muscle building can occur from:
1. Nutrition (especially protein)
2. Hormonal signaling
3. Resistance training
And, we also know that body fat loss is easier to maintain the less extreme you pursue it.
Therefore, we can safely assume that a modest energy deficit while incorporating an intelligent training program with progressive overload and adequate recovery, enough protein (or even protein overfeeding), and optimizing hormonal signaling would be the most effective strategy for simultaneous body recomp.
Now if that sounds difficult (and it is) …
Then we can break it up into phases.
One last note on the approach above … it’s a sloooooooow process.
Building muscle is often much slower than fat loss.
That’s why I indicated above that the scale is relevant and that if it’s moving up quickly and consistently, it’s likely not muscle.
Of course, you can gain weight quickly and put on SOME muscle but it’ll come along with more body fat than you’d like (I’m assuming).
So, if you lack patience then you may want to take things in phases.
Which still follows the same theory.
Don’t be too extreme when trying to lose fat.
Don’t jack up calories too high when trying to build muscle.
However, you can be MORE intentional about your fat loss phase to make it quicker.
Like a sprint approach.
Just be sure to monitor biofeedback and make sure hunger, cravings, mood, sleep, stress, etc. are solid.
Then you can get back to maintenance and work on some muscle building for a longer period of time and enjoy more food and flexibility.
You may be asking, what do I do first?
Well, I don’t know your exact situation but I can explain how we do it with our 1:1 clients.
We start everyone with a metabolic priming phase because we want to ensure that their body responds the way we want and also remember that whole hormonal optimization part of the equation.
That part is pretty important. So, we ensure that their metabolism is in a good spot and that their biofeedback is solid.
Funny thing, many of our clients actually start getting leaner through phase 1 because their body is so used to being under constant stress that more food and better recovery works wonders.
Anyway, from there, we often go through a more intentional phase to cut some body fat.
We never go extreme on the deficit and we always monitor biofeedback.
We also utilize food choices, meal timing, and macro ratios that fit their Neurotype to help with mood stability, minimizing stress, and optimizing hormonal balance.
Everything needs to be aligned
It’s always important to make sure training and nutrition are aligned to help with performance and recovery. Sometimes we get the simultaneous recomp even when we’re going for the phasic approach.
In order to make the process more sustainable and enjoyable, we make sure our clients continue to incorporate things they enjoy into the process like date nights, restaurant meals, alcohol, vacations, etc.
And lastly, we run through phases of that same process depending on their goals while always keeping tabs on biofeedback and the sustainability of what we’re doing.
That’s why you see our clients mention that it doesn’t feel like anything they’ve done before. Other programs have always felt “off or on.”
With us, they just feel like it’s part of their lives. Because it is. That’s how to create long term results.
It typically takes us 6 months to run through that process effectively and give them all of the tools to be successful on their own and not need us anymore.
Some decide to stay because they love the coaching process. And, others decide to fly solo.
Hopefully that clears up some of the lies you’ve been told.
Oh, I almost forgot one!
You cannot turn fat into muscle! And, you cannot turn muscle into fat! They are two different tissues.
You can lose fat and build muscle or lose muscle and gain fat, but one doesn’t “turn into the other.”
Anyway, if you have body recomp goals and you’ve been struggling to get there on your own, then our 1:1 coaching program may be exactly what you need.
If you’re interested, shoot me a private message on FB.
We’ll have a quick chat to see if you’re a good fit and if we both decide that it’s a fit, we can get you enrolled right away.