Many people would like to build some muscle or lose some fat. both of these goals are very realisable for anyone. However, if you wish to make dramatic physical changes, then both fat loss and muscle gain are probably both going to be necessary. And despite what you may have heard, or what various “experts” have told you, this is perfectly possible.
The initial problem when we try to hit both goals at the same time is that we do a bit of one, a bit of the other and end up spinning our wheels and having the same skinny-fat physique we had this time last year. Hold on, you say, you just said that it was possible! Actually, there is no magic bullet (well not exactly, but I’ll come back to that), it is just a question of organising your efforts.
To build muscle you need an excess of calories and to lose fat you must be in a calorific deficit. The “secret” is going from one to the other. To do this, you need two things; one, a good plan, and two, a little knowledge about how your body works.
If we look at your body, there are times when it wants to send what you eat into your muscles, and other moments when it wants to store these calories as body fat. So we are simply going to give the body what it wants!
After your weight-training sessions (and weight-training should be at the heart of any training routine whatever your objectives may be), you are going to eat. At this time hormones (principally insulin) are primes to send all these calories into your muscles. Your post-workout meal should really be the biggest one of the day.
As far as fat loss goes, we are going to do exactly the opposite. For example, for somebody who trains in the middle of the afternoon, he would stay in a slight calorie deficit until shortly before his workout. If extra cardio is needed, this would be time to do it as well.
This simply put, is how we manage two apparently contradictory goals. Now I also mentioned a “magic bullet”. This is the other important thing. Luckily, there are some smart people out there who can walk you step by step through a programme to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. This is ideal, because it takes out one of the biggest reasons for failure in any fitness program.