“Get lean.” “Get toned.” “Get shredded.” That’s one of the goals we hear all the time from clients – and often, they want both at the same time. It’s not impossible to gain muscle and get lean at the same time, but it means taking a different approach to nutrition and workouts than you’re used to – and getting rid of a focus on weight loss.
Gaining muscle and getting lean requires body recomposition. That’s just a fancy way of saying that you’re burning fat and building muscle at the same time. It sounds impossible because we’re all led to believe that, to lose fat, we have to eat fewer calories than we’re burning – but to gain muscle, we have to eat more calories than we burn.
If you’re doing body recomposition, you’ll have to ditch the scale. You may stay at your current weight, or you could end up gaining weight. What’s actually happening is that you’re building muscle and losing fat, so as you continue with body recomposition, you’ll see your body look firmer, or your clothes will fit differently. When you’re done, even if you weigh the same or a little more, you will likely be smaller.
Instead of tracking your weight closely, you’ll track your measurements and body fat percentage.
What You Need to Gain Muscle and Get Lean
The biggest part of body recomposition is nutrition. Workouts will definitely be important: you’ll need cardio to lose fat and weight training to build muscle. But if you’re not getting the right amount of protein and other macros (carbs and fats), and you’re not cycling calories, you won’t hit your goal. Some days, you may eat more, and other days, like your rest days, you may eat less.
This is not a quick process. You’ll be in it for the long haul as you work to balance your nutrition and your workouts.
But there are a lot of benefits to body recomposition besides looking better, which makes it worth the effort. Building muscle helps boost your metabolism, so it will be easier to stay at your goal weight once you’re done with gaining muscle and getting lean. You’ll also be less focused on the number on the scale; as you watch your body change, the visible definition you see will be more important to you.While it takes work, it is entirely possible to gain muscle and get lean at the same time. But you’ll need to get your nutrition right and make sure your workouts support your goals. Want to learn how we can help? Click here to book a free intro with a coach.