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HOW to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Simultaneously

Posted by Joel Marion

Yesterday we began a series on losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, and with that first post I posed the question:

Can it be done?

The answer? Yes. BUT, only with a VERY strategic approach.

Now, in order to understand how these seemingly mutually exclusive goals can be accomplished simultaneously, we need to understand a few things about achieving your goals in general.

First, your goals are a direct result of both your training and nutrition program.

Second, optimal training for fat loss and optimal training to gain muscle are different.

Third, optimal nutritional strategies for fat loss and optimal nutritional strategies for gaining muscle are different.

Let’s take a look at each.

From a caloric balance perspective, in order to gain muscle you need to be taking in surplus levels of calories – there is simply no way around it. Fact is, it’s nearly impossible to gain muscle mass while in a caloric deficit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Conversely, if your goal is to lose body fat, you need to create some sort of caloric deficit (i.e. you are eating less than you burn).

Now, those two situations may indeed seem mutually exclusive, but they’re not.

More on that in a minute.

On to training.

Optimal training for fat loss consists of very metabolically demanding resistance training (think circuit training) coupled with high intensity interval style cardio sessions.

Optimal training for gaining muscle is more a product of using heavier weights, more rest, while still performing a large number of repetitions per session (volume).

Those two things also seem mutually exclusive – but they’re not.

Here’s how:


What if you alternated the two types of workouts throughout the week?

Could you burn fat and gain muscle?

Perhaps, but not likely due to the nutrition issue.

But what if you were to feed your muscles with a surplus of calories on muscle building workout days, and remain in a caloric deficit on other days?

Or what if you were to feed your muscles with a MEGA surplus of calories for the several hours after your muscle building workout (when your muscles are most primed to suck up nutrients and much less likely to convert those extra calories to fat)?

Or what if you were to take small bursts of time to concentrate on building muscle – say, two weeks. And then follow it up with an intense one week fat loss phase? Essentially, over a twelve week period you’d be losing fat and gaining muscle “simultaneously,” unlike those who only do one or the other in that time frame.

Or what if you were to do exclusively muscle building workouts (with a caloric surplus on those days), and then burn excess calories via interval training (and not resistance training) combined with dieting on other days?

There are SO many different ways to do this.

Give me at least 300 comments and I’ll be back tomorrow with a number of different specific ways to approach the goal of building muscle and losing fat simultaneously.

Talk to you in the comments section!


P.S.  Check out the below video from my buddy Kyle explaining one of the NEWEST methods we’re using for simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain:


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