Conventional wisdom would have you believe that fat lost and muscle growth conflict. I am here to tell you that it is absolutely possible to maintain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
In most muscle building programs, there is a “bulk up” phase where you consume more calories and limit cardio to put on as much muscle mass as possible while accepting some fat gain.
Once you have acquired a solid amount of muscle mass, you switch to a fat loss phase where you burn the fat and accept some muscle loss in the process.
I’m here to tell you, though, that if you follow my programs to a T, then it’s absolutely possible to lose fat while maintaining muscle.
Even when you transition from muscle building to fat loss, it’s as important as ever to maintain your regular strength training regimen.
Too many people forgo resistance training or drastically reduce the number of their sessions when they shift their focus to fat loss.
The same people then wonder why they are losing just as much muscle as fat.
Muscles naturally begin to atrophy if you don’t give them a reason to retain their size. You have to continue to train the way I normally recommend. That is, low volume (5-6 reps) and to absolute failure.
Most of you know by now that I am not a fan of long distance cardio. Cardio at a moderate pace is especially detrimental when you’re trying to retain muscle.
When you perform aerobics the traditional way, such as jogging for 30-45 minutes, you can burn both fat and muscle. When carbohydrates are depleted during aerobic activity, the body will dig into protein in the muscles to break down into amino acids for making sugar.
If, on the other hand, you do HIIT or sprint at lighting speeds, your energy will be depleted in a much shorter time. This causes your body to dig into the fat stores instead of muscle tissue for energy.
On top of that, sprinting may also build muscle as it has been shown in this study to elevate testosterone levels.
Furthermore, a New South Wales study revealed that a sprinting group lost more fat than a long-distance cycling group despite the latter training for twice as long.
Watch Your Diet
Yes, you have to restrict calories, but don't go overboard. It is definitely possible to restrict too much.
Keep a food log of what you’re eating, the total calories, and the breakdown of protein, carbs, and fat. This will make it much easier to accurately know what you're taking in.
Measure your waist every week or use a fat caliper. You should also measure your muscles on your upper arms, chest, and thighs.
If at any time your muscles shrink a bit, then you may be restricting more calories than you should be. Make adjustments and increase calories by 200-300.
Also be sure to consume plenty of protein. Aim for at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. (for someone who weighs 200 pounds, they should get 200 grams of protein a day).
One of protein’s primary functions is to replace the existing protein in the muscle tissue that has been broken down from strenuous exercise. Protein also contains nitrogen, which is needed during protein synthesis.
Muscle can only grow, or at the very least maintain its current mass, if it’s in a positive nitrogen balance.
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Hard-Earned Muscle
Believe me, I practice what I preach and have kept every bit of muscle when I’m in the middle of shredding up. It can be done; you just have to train and eat with absolute attention to detail and precision..
If you train and eat the way I propose in The Simple Shredded Solution program, then you can definitely lose fat while maintaining muscle..