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How do you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?


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This probably sounds like a stupid question but I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it. Can anyone dumb it down for me?

 

What is the most effective way to gain muscle but lose fat?

 

Thanks everyone!

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Original Post by cujo6871:

People usually get 1-3 reps gain per week till about 12- 15 reps then add more weight and less reps... eventually you reach your genetic limit or we would all be benching 1000 pounds.  

People typically can lose a pound or 2 a week of fat too. Well I guess that can't be true either or everyone would weigh zero pounds.  That's silly. You progress untill you reach a goal and maintain it.

  Strength comes only from muscle ... what else would it come from? Magic pixie dust?   "Mass"  can come from muscle or fat or a combination of the 2.  There are lots of guys with a 48 inch massive midsection, but I would not say the mass was because of their massive abdominal muscles. 

So strength is gained linearly until you reach your genetic limit? A 150 pound person can lose fat at the same rate as a 500 pound person? Quincy Taylor is the strongest person in the world?

 

#22  
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Did'nt say linear gains. Obviously gains  drop off as you near your goal whether its be fat loss or muscle gains.

 QT looks like pro bodybuilder who has obviously used steroids to go way beyond his genetic potential. He already has no body fat so surely would would need a calorie surplus to gain... or at least another cycle.  I don't see what that has to do with the guy writing  the thread who is 100 lbs overweight and and wants to lose body fat and gain muscle. As if doing so is an impossibility unless you are some genetic alien freak.  Lift weights, do cardio and diet....Unless you  look like QT already you will loose fat and gain muscle, its not that big of a deal....

....Or tell the guy that is 100lbs overweight that he needs a calorie SURPLUS and it will magically turn into muscle... I predict that a 1000 calorie a day surplus will result in 2 pounds of extra "mass" a week

Did someone in this thread tell a guy that is 100 pounds overweight to eat a calorie surplus? I must have missed that.

 

Original Post by solid555:

Did someone in this thread tell a guy that is 100 pounds overweight to eat a calorie surplus? I must have missed that.

Men who are 100 lbs overweight should eat a calorie surplus.

[/self-fulfilling prophecy]

Original Post by melkor:

Original Post by cujo6871:

Easy to explain....

You gain muscle by one thing only.... lifting weights.

You lose body fat by one thing only.... a consistent calorie deficit.

Any energy your body demands will come from either food or stored body fat.... including muscle building! Unless you are really skinny or lean you can easily build muscle AND burn body fat at the same time. People do it all the time.

People really don't unless they're either complete beginners, morbidly obese or both and even in those cases we're not talking about much beyond a pound or three total.

 A non-beginner with a body fat level below 20-ish won't build muscle at all without being in a net calorie surplus.

Edit: Or.. they're part of that group of genetic anomalies I mentioned, but that's real milion-to-one genetics. To the best of my knowledge that applies to exactly three of the over 3 million members of Calorie-count - a male and a female semi-pro body builder, and a Figure competitor. And maaaybe former mod Duke who can thank his exceptional genetics for surviving well into his sixties despite being over 500lbs at times.

referring to bolded text: So, what does it take to not be a beginner? Or, is this some kind of catch-22 thing that says that if a person builds muscle without a net caloric surplus, they are identified as a beginner independent of anything else they have been doing?

Original Post by cujo6871:

  Strength comes only from muscle ... what else would it come from? Magic pixie dust?   "Mass"  can come from muscle or fat or a combination of the 2.  There are lots of guys with a 48 inch massive midsection, but I would not say the mass was because of their massive abdominal muscles. 

Maybe the Central Nervous System?

If strength only comes from muscle, then why can some 120lb females Deadlift more than 160lb men? Do some reading.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

referring to bolded text: So, what does it take to not be a beginner? Or, is this some kind of catch-22 thing that says that if a person builds muscle without a net caloric surplus, they are identified as a beginner independent of anything else they have been doing?

Untrained to about halfway to Novice on the strength standard chart. - it's not really useful to be extremely precise given people's tendency to have somewhat variable response, if you've got good muscle building genetics you can potentially stretch the beginner phase all the way to Novice strength levels.

 If you've got uncanny million-to-one genetics you can stretch newbie gains all the way to Advanced levels. If you do, I will cease talking to you and start to seethe with quiet jealousy instead ;)

So does all of this mean, you should get to your target weight before you start weight training? For example: let's say I'm 20 lbs above my ideal weight. Are you saying I can't lose these last 20 lbs of FAT by weight training since I still require a deficit to lose the remaining fat?
Original Post by michaelt38:

So does all of this mean, you should get to your target weight before you start weight training? For example: let's say I'm 20 lbs above my ideal weight. Are you saying I can't lose these last 20 lbs of FAT by weight training since I still require a deficit to lose the remaining fat?

No. Weight training will help you hold on to existing muscle while you drop weight.

 

#30  
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Original Post by bmx419:

Original Post by cujo6871:

  Strength comes only from muscle ... what else would it come from? Magic pixie dust?   "Mass"  can come from muscle or fat or a combination of the 2.  There are lots of guys with a 48 inch massive midsection, but I would not say the mass was because of their massive abdominal muscles. 

Maybe the Central Nervous System?

If strength only comes from muscle, then why can some 120lb females Deadlift more than 160lb men? Do some reading.

Thanks... I "did some reading" about "absolute strength" versus "relative strength" and agree with that....  If the 120lb girl is deadlifting 240lb and the 160 lb guy is deadlifting 300lbs then she is lifting 2 times her weight and he is not, so she is "relatively" stronger than him but he is "absolutely" stronger than her.....

but what does relativity have to do with anything.... In either case thier strength is coming from their muscles and she has bigger stonger muscle fibers relative to her body weight.  What do you think is lifting that 240 or 300 lbs off the ground?... their central nevous system?

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Human_Physiology /The_Muscular_System

I have yet to see someone lift a weight without using their central nervous system. CNS recruitment, motor skills, muscle density, skeletal geometry; these are all important components of strength. A bigger muscle is not necessarily a stronger muscle.

 

#32  
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Original Post by solid555:

I have yet to see someone lift a weight without using their central nervous system. CNS recruitment, motor skills, muscle density, skeletal geometry; these are all important components of strength. A bigger muscle is not necessarily a stronger muscle.

 

 I hate seeing this myth perpetuated over and over that you cant build muscle and burn fat at the same time....

 I began lifting weights at 16 and I am now a 5' 11 " 40 year old man. Throughout the years  I have taken time off and got out of shape and back in shape from time to time.  In April I began tracking my sets/reps/weight to track my improvement....with a phone app called Jefit and caloriecount.com. When I began tracking about 8 months ago... I weighed 185 and had about 20-25lb extra baggage.... Hardly "morbidly obese" and I could bench press 225 for a few at the time.... which according to the strength standards link  ... http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/Str engthStandards.html  is between intermediate and advanced... Through the 8 months of tracking I kept my calorie average around 1200- 1500 as well as ran/jog/walked for cardio.

This week I weigh in at 164 and benched 275 for 3 which falls between advanced and elite on the chart. I did not take supplements, steroids, or protein shakes. I just lifted weights and did cardio intensly and consistently...My muscles are bigger and more defined! I can see it when I look in the mirror!....  Now my goal is to bench twice my weight... we shall see....

So now I ask ..... did I not loose body fat and gain muscle during the last 8 months?  Am I lifting the extra 50 pounds for 3 because suddenly I gained more "coordination" at bench pressing after 20 years? Those bumps are my "central nervous system gains" pushing my shirt out? Really? 

although I will agree that muscle strength does not necessarilly mean muscle size.... when steroids are brought into the equation.... The 6'4 monster guy next to me at the gym with the veins popping out everywhere curling 25lb dumbells while standing on an upside down bosu as I stand there curling 55 lb dumbells with arms half his size did not gain his "mass" because he is standing on a bosu ball or because he has a net calorie surplus and I have a net calorie deficit.... He is that big for one reason only... steroids. So thats comparing apples to oranges.  All things being equal and after the learning/coordination phase strength and size are related.

I would not say that I am some "genetic anomoly" either... I would argue if most people worked out as intensly as I do they would see similar results. I see people get fit all the time.... Of course they are not going to look like a pro bodybuilders, but that is not because they are in a calorie deficit or their body fat cannot release enough energy required for the few extra calories needed to synthesize the slow muscle gains of an average guy lifting weights who is not taking steroids. But they ARE muscle gains.

The problem with the myth is that people read it on the internet bodybuilding blogs and believe it to be true.... then kids wanting to look like thier body building or football heros go out and waste money on "mass gainer" shakes and end up just getting FAT.  Or think they should'nt lift because they have to loose fat first. Or think that all the hard work the did only increased their coordination and strength.  Sorry to rant. :) And I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I have fallen victim to this myth as many others have... wasted money... So its personal for me.... Stay Fit ;)

Original Post by cujo6871:

 I began lifting weights at 16 and I am now a 5' 11 " 40 year old man. Throughout the years  I have taken time off and got out of shape and back in shape from time to time.  In April I began tracking my sets/reps/weight to track my improvement....with a phone app called Jefit and caloriecount.com. When I began tracking about 8 months ago... I weighed 185 and had about 20-25lb extra baggage.... Hardly "morbidly obese" and I could bench press 225 for a few at the time.... which according to the strength standards link  ... http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/Str engthStandards.html  is between intermediate and advanced... Through the 8 months of tracking I kept my calorie average around 1200- 1500 as well as ran/jog/walked for cardio.

This week I weigh in at 164 and benched 275 for 3 which falls between advanced and elite on the chart. I did not take supplements, steroids, or protein shakes. I just lifted weights and did cardio intensly and consistently...My muscles are bigger and more defined! I can see it when I look in the mirror!....  Now my goal is to bench twice my weight... we shall see....

So you lost that 20-25lbs of excess baggage(fat) and didn't gain any muscle based on your numbers... interesting.

So now I ask ..... did I not loose body fat and gain muscle during the last 8 months?  Am I lifting the extra 50 pounds for 3 because suddenly I gained more "coordination" at bench pressing after 20 years? Those bumps are my "central nervous system gains" pushing my shirt out? Really? 

Sort of. If you actually read and comprehend the responses on here, you would have learned something new by now. You might have gained some muscle at first, due to the new stimulus. All beginners do. Yes, you started over as a beginner essentially. 

although I will agree that muscle strength does not necessarilly mean muscle size.... when steroids are brought into the equation.... The 6'4 monster guy next to me at the gym with the veins popping out everywhere curling 25lb dumbells while standing on an upside down bosu as I stand there curling 55 lb dumbells with arms half his size did not gain his "mass" because he is standing on a bosu ball or because he has a net calorie surplus and I have a net calorie deficit.... He is that big for one reason only... steroids. So thats comparing apples to oranges.  All things being equal and after the learning/coordination phase strength and size are related.

You're making outlandish things up to try and win this "debate." Notice you're the only one on your side? There's a reason for that.

I would not say that I am some "genetic anomoly" either... I would argue if most people worked out as intensly as I do they would see similar results. I see people get fit all the time.... Of course they are not going to look like a pro bodybuilders, but that is not because they are in a calorie deficit or their body fat cannot release enough energy required for the few extra calories needed to synthesize the slow muscle gains of an average guy lifting weights who is not taking steroids. But they ARE muscle gains.

The problem with the myth is that people read it on the internet bodybuilding blogs and believe it to be true.... then kids wanting to look like thier body building or football heros go out and waste money on "mass gainer" shakes and end up just getting FAT.  Or think they should'nt lift because they have to loose fat first. Or think that all the hard work the did only increased their coordination and strength.  Sorry to rant. :) And I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I have fallen victim to this myth as many others have... wasted money... So its personal for me.... Stay Fit ;)

Actually it's the opposite that we see and read and answer questions about everyday. The myth that people can easily, no matter their history, gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

Here, maybe you'll believe an expert. Or do you think he's out to fool everyone? Cause his methods definitely aren't easy or for the non-dedicated.

After 3 years of triathlons, and marathons and cycling I decided to drop endurance and focus only on weight lifting to build power this off season and follow the nutrition principles I learned in my certification. After 5 months I have lost 7 lbs of fat and gained 1.5 lbs of muscle. (equipment calibrated through hydrostatic weighing) I have not counted calories at all.

Would I be classified as a beginner? Depends who you ask I suppose. I've been working out hard and weight lifting consistently for more than 5 years though.

Original Post by sybil878:

After 3 years of triathlons, and marathons and cycling I decided to drop endurance and focus only on weight lifting to build power this off season and follow the nutrition principles I learned in my certification. After 5 months I have lost 7 lbs of fat and gained 1.5 lbs of muscle. (equipment calibrated through hydrostatic weighing) I have not counted calories at all.

Would I be classified as a beginner? Depends who you ask I suppose. I've been working out hard and weight lifting consistently for more than 5 years though.

Maybe some days you ate at a deficit unknowingly, and some days at a surplus?

I'd be more interested in seeing your measurements throughout the 5 months to see how you came to know you lost 7lbs of fat and gained 1.5lbs of muscle.

#36  
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Original Post by bmx419:

Original Post by cujo6871:

 I began lifting weights at 16 and I am now a 5' 11 " 40 year old man. Throughout the years  I have taken time off and got out of shape and back in shape from time to time.  In April I began tracking my sets/reps/weight to track my improvement....with a phone app called Jefit and caloriecount.com. When I began tracking about 8 months ago... I weighed 185 and had about 20-25lb extra baggage.... Hardly "morbidly obese" and I could bench press 225 for a few at the time.... which according to the strength standards link  ... http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/Str engthStandards.html  is between intermediate and advanced... Through the 8 months of tracking I kept my calorie average around 1200- 1500 as well as ran/jog/walked for cardio.

This week I weigh in at 164 and benched 275 for 3 which falls between advanced and elite on the chart. I did not take supplements, steroids, or protein shakes. I just lifted weights and did cardio intensly and consistently...My muscles are bigger and more defined! I can see it when I look in the mirror!....  Now my goal is to bench twice my weight... we shall see....

So you lost that 20-25lbs of excess baggage(fat) and didn't gain any muscle based on your numbers... interesting.

So now I ask ..... did I not loose body fat and gain muscle during the last 8 months?  Am I lifting the extra 50 pounds for 3 because suddenly I gained more "coordination" at bench pressing after 20 years? Those bumps are my "central nervous system gains" pushing my shirt out? Really? 

Sort of. If you actually read and comprehend the responses on here, you would have learned something new by now. You might have gained some muscle at first, due to the new stimulus. All beginners do. Yes, you started over as a beginner essentially. 

although I will agree that muscle strength does not necessarilly mean muscle size.... when steroids are brought into the equation.... The 6'4 monster guy next to me at the gym with the veins popping out everywhere curling 25lb dumbells while standing on an upside down bosu as I stand there curling 55 lb dumbells with arms half his size did not gain his "mass" because he is standing on a bosu ball or because he has a net calorie surplus and I have a net calorie deficit.... He is that big for one reason only... steroids. So thats comparing apples to oranges.  All things being equal and after the learning/coordination phase strength and size are related.

You're making outlandish things up to try and win this "debate." Notice you're the only one on your side? There's a reason for that.

I would not say that I am some "genetic anomoly" either... I would argue if most people worked out as intensly as I do they would see similar results. I see people get fit all the time.... Of course they are not going to look like a pro bodybuilders, but that is not because they are in a calorie deficit or their body fat cannot release enough energy required for the few extra calories needed to synthesize the slow muscle gains of an average guy lifting weights who is not taking steroids. But they ARE muscle gains.

The problem with the myth is that people read it on the internet bodybuilding blogs and believe it to be true.... then kids wanting to look like thier body building or football heros go out and waste money on "mass gainer" shakes and end up just getting FAT.  Or think they should'nt lift because they have to loose fat first. Or think that all the hard work the did only increased their coordination and strength.  Sorry to rant. :) And I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I have fallen victim to this myth as many others have... wasted money... So its personal for me.... Stay Fit ;)

Actually it's the opposite that we see and read and answer questions about everyday. The myth that people can easily, no matter their history, gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

Here, maybe you'll believe an expert. Or do you think he's out to fool everyone? Cause his methods definitely aren't easy or for the non-dedicated.

  Good reading...I dont disagree with most of it... He is talking about losing fat and replacing it with an equal amount of muscle thus changing body composition without losing body weight. Therefore replacing each pound of fat lost with an equal pound of muscle gained.  Fat loss is a faster process compared to muscle gains.  I am in not saying I did that. Or that anyone can do that. I'm saying that muscle hypertrophy can occur concurrently with fat loss. Perhaps not at the same exact moment and of course not pound for pound...

 

Original Post by bmx419:

I'd be more interested in seeing your measurements throughout the 5 months to see how you came to know you lost 7lbs of fat and gained 1.5lbs of muscle.


I've lost 6 inches in my measurements, mostly from my shoulders, arms, waist and hips.

I calibrated my Tanita scale http://www.tanita.com/en/bc1000/ with a hydrostatic weighing I had done at the university to determine accuracy. (which is less relevant when I'm just evaluating the difference). But anyways, in the software with my scale it measures % bf, lbs body fat, lean mass (muscle), bone mass, and about 10 other things.

Reading in Aiugsut compared to reading last week. Down 6.8 pounds fat, muscle up 1.6, overall weight down 5.2 (which is what my normal scale also says).

I should note even though I have not counted calories I have been modifying what I eat, I wouldn't attribute these changes to exercise only.

Original Post by bmx419:

Original Post by sybil878:

After 3 years of triathlons, and marathons and cycling I decided to drop endurance and focus only on weight lifting to build power this off season and follow the nutrition principles I learned in my certification. After 5 months I have lost 7 lbs of fat and gained 1.5 lbs of muscle. (equipment calibrated through hydrostatic weighing) I have not counted calories at all.

Would I be classified as a beginner? Depends who you ask I suppose. I've been working out hard and weight lifting consistently for more than 5 years though.

Maybe some days you ate at a deficit unknowingly, and some days at a surplus?

I'd be more interested in seeing your measurements throughout the 5 months to see how you came to know you lost 7lbs of fat and gained 1.5lbs of muscle.

A pound of muscle "weights" 21.6 grams under water. A pound of fat "floats" with a force equal to 45.4 grams.

If a person only lost 5.5 pounds of fat, they'd weight 249.7 grams more underwater. But, if they had lost 7 pounds of fat, while gaining 1.5 pounds of muscle to arrive at that same final bodyweight, they would now weigh 350.2 grams more underwater.

I am reluctant to gain much more than the actual weight of any muscle that I gain, so I wanted a sensitive/reproducible method to measure progress. At the pool, I counterbalance myself with floats (empty, or partially empty bottles) to effectively weigh myself underwater. I've even done double blind tests, with an unknown amount of weight in an opaque bottle, to make sure that I was being objective. For me, the method is sensitive to +- 30 grams or less, so it would work fine for discriminating between the two examples that I've given above. I can measure a gain of single pound of muscle (as compared to a gaining a pound of fat).

I also have a Taylor scale with impedance measurements, and calipers. Neither is as good as the pool, but the calipers get pretty darn good (sensitive to small changes) when the skin-folds get thin.

edit/add: I used the density of water as being 1.0 in the above example to make it easier for people to check the calculation if they are interested. The density is a bit lower than that, because the pools are usually warm.

That's assuming that there are only two things in your body at any one time - fat and muscle.  

And

brb what does one or two lbs of "muscle" distributed over a 160+lbs person look like in the mirror?

 

Tough audience.

Vanity isn't the only reason a person might want to gain muscle and lose fat. 

I beleive the conversation was around can a person gain muscle while losing fat, not how it looks on their body.

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