One of the most common misconceptions in the health and fitness industry is the belief that an individual can turn fat into muscle and muscle can become fat through inactivity and poor nutrition; however muscle and fat are not the same. Fat is an organ that has several functions in the body including storage of excess calories and releasing hormones, among other things.
Muscle is tissue in the body that is responsible for movement, posture, and motion of the internal organs.
When an individual starts an appropriate exercise and nutrition program, they are most likely going to LOSE BODY FAT and GAIN LEAN MUSCLE.
Besides weight and fat loss, more lean muscle mass increases fitness, which is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance. Skinny people who want to build a lean muscular body know without doubt that they need to focus on gaining muscle from the beginning of their program. Should you lose fat first, build muscle first or try to do both at the same time when trying to go from a fat body to a lean muscular body? Now the simple answer is it is best to get lean first when you possess a great amount of excess fat and want to build muscle. If you lose fat while maintaining the muscle you already have on your body it could take you a good way ahead in getting the lean muscle body you want. The same thing cannot be said about building muscle when you have a load of fat on your body. If you are thinking that the ideal process would be to lose fat and build muscle together, then you should know that trying to get leaner and more muscular at the same time is a very complicated and difficult endeavor. It’s commonly recommended that if you are really fat you should focus on fat loss first without losing muscle, then when you get to a lower body fat level, start focusing on muscle gain while staying lean or getting leaner. If you want to know what it really takes to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, then you want to read this article.
You may or may not be able to do it, depending on your body composition, training experience, and more. So, in this article, I’m going to help you understand how body recomposition works and exactly what to do to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Protein synthesis refers to the creation of new cells and protein degradation refers to the elimination of unwanted ones. Now, when we train our muscles we damage the cells in the muscle fibers, and this signals the body to increase protein synthesis rates to repair the damage. Our bodies are smart, too, and want to adapt to better deal with the activity that caused the muscle damage.
Thus, what we think of as just “muscle growth” is actually the result of protein synthesis rates exceeding protein breakdown rates over time.
In other words, when your body synthesizes (creates) more muscle proteins than it loses, you have gained muscle. In short, they are doing everything they can to bolster protein synthesis and suppress protein degradation rates with the aim of gaining as much muscle as possible. In order to lose fat, you need to give your body less energy (food) than it burns over time. While necessary for losing fat, a calorie deficit causes the body to adapt in various ways. As you can imagine, these changes directly interfere with your body’s ability to create new muscle proteins. And to make matters worse, many people trying to lose weight also make diet and training mistakes that further impair muscle building and accelerate muscle loss. Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym. The good news, however, is that if you’re anxiously reading this article, you probably can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. And when that’s the case, I can almost guarantee that you can add muscle and lose fat at the same time. The long story short is when you first start weightlifting, or first start properly overloading your muscles, your body is hyper-responsive and can gain muscle at a very fast rate. Most guys can gain up to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of weightlifting (and most girls can gain up to half of that).
When powered by newbie gains, you won’t gain as much muscle in a calorie deficit as you would in a calorie surplus, but you can gain enough to dramatically improve your physique. So, with that out of the way, let’s move on to how to actually build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Just because your body can lose fat and build muscle simultaneously doesn’t mean it comes easily. As I mentioned earlier, even when you do it right, muscle growth is slower while in a calorie deficit than a surplus. That is, if you could gain 10 pounds of muscle in your first 12 weeks of weightlifting if you were in a mild calorie surplus, you could expect to gain about 5 pounds if you’re in a deficit.
Wild claims on the Internet about losing double-digit amounts of body fat in a couple months and gaining the same in muscle are lies. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how to actually go about gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time.
Both groups ate a high-protein diet and, after 4 weeks, the athletes on a 300-calorie deficit lost very little fat and muscle while the group on a 750-calorie deficit lost, on average, about 4 pounds of fat and very little muscle.
These findings completely jive with my experience both with my body and the thousands of people I’ve worked with. You can be aggressive (but not reckless) with your calorie restriction and dramatically increase fat loss without sacrificing muscle.
Thus, if you want to look as good as possible when you’re lean, you want to add muscle to your frame as quickly as possible. Compound exercises involve multiple major muscle groups and require the most whole-body strength and effort. Isolation exercises involve one muscle group and require significantly less whole-body strength and effort. If you want to build maximum muscle and strength, you want to focus on compound exercises in your workouts. This has been known in bodybuilding and strength training circles for decades now, and you can find scientific evidence of it as well. There’s a good reason why the most popular weightlifting programs in the world revolve around building strength on a handful of key, compound lifts. One of the first questions I had when I started lifting was how heavy I should be training. Well, I quickly learned that getting a simple answer to this question is far from simple. The amount of dissent among experts leaves you scratching your head, wondering whom to believe. That was years ago, though, and I’ve done a lot of studying since and have worked with a few thousand people, and I feel I have an answer worth sharing. If you want to maximize muscle growth, you want to train with heavy loads and a moderate volume. As with the emphasis of compound movements, this is backed by both decades of anecdotal and scientific evidence.
A high-volume, moderate-intensity group that did 4 workouts per week consisting of 4 sets per exercise in the 10 to 12 rep range (70% of 1RM). A moderate-volume, high-intensity group that did 4 workouts per week consisting of 4 sets per exercise in the 3 to 5 rep range (90% of 1RM). Both groups did the same exercises (which included the bench press, back squat, deadlift, and seated shoulder press), and both were instructed to maintain their normal eating habits (which was monitored with food diaries). After 8 weeks of training, scientists found that the high-intensity group gained significantly more muscle and strength than the high-volume group. It’s no surprise that the high-intensity group gained more strength, but many people wouldn’t have expected them to gain more muscle as well.
And this, in turn, results in a greater adaptation across a larger percentage of the muscle tissue.
This is more important than maximizing cellular fatigue through high-rep sets, drop sets, giant sets, and so forth.
In the study outlined above, subjects increased weight after hitting their prescribed reps for two workouts. The key here was an emphasis on increasing weight on the bar, not on increasing the number of reps performed. Now, that isn’t to say that higher rep training and isolation exercises have no place in a weightlifting program.


You can lose fat without doing cardio, but if you want to lose it as quickly as possible, you want to include cardio in your routine. And while you can accelerate fat loss with something as simple as walking, if you want to lose fat as rapidly as possible and don’t mind a challenge, then you want to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
The high-intensity intervals push your body toward its metabolic limits (basically as hard as you can go) and the low-intensity intervals allow it to recover (catching your breath). This style of training is gaining more and more popularity these days because studies show it’s far better for burning fat and preserving muscle than the more traditional low-intensity steady-state cardio.
HIIT burns more fat over time than low-intensity cardio, and a study conducted by scientists at The University of Western Ontario gives us insight into how much more effective it really is. Researchers had 10 men and 10 women train 3 times per week, with one group doing 4 to 6 30-second treadmill sprints (with 4 to 6 minutes of rest in between each), and the other group doing 30 to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio (running on the treadmill at about 65% of VO2 max).
After 6 weeks of training, the subjects doing the intervals had lost significantly more fat. Significant spikes in growth hormone levels (which aid in fat loss) and catecholamine levels (which are chemicals your body produces to mobilize fat stores for burning). The science is clear: if your goal is to burn as much fat in as little time as possible, then HIIT is the way to go.
Studies have also shown that the longer your cardio sessions are, the more they impair strength and muscle growth. And when the goal is optimizing body composition (which requires progress in the weight room), you need to keep your individual cardio sessions short but intense enough to burn a significant amount of calories, and your total weekly duration relatively low. Research shows that sleep deprivation causes hormonal disruptions that can cause muscle loss, which helps explain why it has been linked to muscular atrophy. For example, one study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago found that when 10 healthy men reduced sleep for a week from about 9 hours per night to 5, their testosterone levels dropped by up to 14%. Insufficient sleep also decreases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) levels, which play important roles in maintaining and building muscle mass. Studies also show that sleep restriction raises free cortisol levels, which further impairs muscle gain.
And in terms of losing fat, sleeping too little can magnify your appetite, which makes you more likely to break your diet and overeat.
Sleep needs vary from individual to individual, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to be well rested.
I saved this for last because, quite frankly, it’s far less important than proper diet and training.
You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.
Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans. Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.
So, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help. The truth of the matter is there are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more. As a part of my work, it’s been my job to know what these substances are, and find products with them that I can use myself and recommend to others.
Finding high-quality, effective, and fairly priced products has always been a struggle, though.
That’s why I took matters into my own hands and decided to create my own supplements. For the purpose of this article, let’s just quickly review the supplements that are going to help you get the most out of your efforts to build muscle and lose fat. You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys, but these claims have been categorically and repeatedly disproven. In healthy subjects, creatine has been shown to have no harmful side effects, in both short- or long-term usage. This gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid. You don’t need protein supplements to gain muscle, but, considering how much protein you need to eat every day to maximize muscle growth, getting all your protein from whole food can be impractical. WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored whey isolate that is made from milk sourced from small dairy farms in Ireland, which are known for their exceptionally high-quality dairy. I can confidently say that this is the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest all-natural whey protein powder you can find.
And for the same reasons it’s also no surprise that fat burners are some of the most expensive supplements on the shelves and feature some of the loudest marketing claims, often making big promises of “scientifically proven” rapid fat loss. Synephrine. This increases both basal metabolic rate and lipolysis, inhibits the activity of certain fat cell receptors that prevent fat mobilization, and increases the thermic effect of food (the “energy cost” of metabolizing food).
Naringin. This stimulates the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of fat cells, and that it activates a type of receptor in fat cells that regulates fat mobilization (the PPAR? receptor). Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This inhibits the activity of a different enzyme also responsible for breaking down neurotransmitters that induce lipolysis. That’s why – despite the higher metabolic, and therefore, calorie-burning potential of muscle – the way adiposity determines caloric partitioning means that consuming a surplus of calories to bulk up when already overweight is to walk an almost certain path to failure. Ideally, you’ll want to start bulking when you are lean, or at least, leaner than not. Men, before embarking on a bulking phase should generally have 10 to 13 percent body fat, or a bit less; women should generally have between 19 and 23 percent body fat, or a bit less. Unless your current goal is to become even leaner, it’s the right time to begin bulking, with the goal of putting on muscle mass. As you’ve now learned, frustration can be avoided by simply understanding which actions should first be undertaken. Barry is a former skinny-guy who has dedicated years of his life to the study of muscle growth.
The problem with most of what you see in the fitness and bodybuilding magazines is that it’s not reality. For the regular guy, blindly following the “traditional” routines more often than not winds up in disappointment.
The goal of the Lean Hybrid Muscle program is to gain lean muscle mass, while burning fat and getting stronger.
Than we also have the “Hybrid Muscle” which is really what Lean Hybrid Muscle Building is all about!
I learned a lot about hybrid super muscle through the book The Purposeful Primitive, written by Marty Gallagher.
By combining cardio and resistance activities it causes the composition of muscles to transform from predominately type II or type IIb into Type III.
Having more mitochondria in the muscle cells means that more nutrients can be processed, giving the muscles the ability to work considerably harder for longer periods. Also, since we include so many squats in the programs there is a significant tightening and firming up of the gluts. I just happen to have access to a warehouse gym where I can train with cool tools like sleds, tires, kettlebells and sandbags. You’re probably waiting to hear me say there’s a super duper top secrets supplement stack in the program that is going to make your lean and ripped. Look at our ancestors and, in particular, the warrior cultures like the Spartans, the Roman Gladiators, or the Vikings. That’s where supplements do come into the picture but not until you’ve got a solid foundation built or underway!
When you sign up for our free newsletter, you will be automatically entered in our monthly drawingto win free supplements and other great prizes. They are two different entities, therefore fat can not become muscle, and vice versa: One cannot turn into the other. Incorporate resistance training into your regimen: This type of training aids in building muscle. Use high intensity intervals and plyometrics: Instead of wasting so much time doing the typical long duration, steady state cardio all the time, perform more short bursts of higher intensity training.
Eat 4-5 smaller meals a day: Eating only once or twice a day will actually decrease metabolism, which hinders fat loss.
Drink more water: Not only will this aid in body fat loss, but it will keep you full so you can avoid eating when not necessary. Don’t focus on the scale: One pound of muscle is more dense (takes up less space) than one pound of fat.


In addition, exercise in general improves sleep, hypertension, and decreases risk of depression. Do you feel more confident on how to build muscle and decrease body fat and the benefits of such?
She has a Master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology, and a Bachelor's in Kinesiology & Psychology. While I was aware that you can’t change one for the other, many of your other points were interesting (fat giving off hormones! I’m here to help you get over the confusion and start taking action to get sculpted instead of just confusingly thinking about it. It’s also possible to gain some muscle while getting lean if the right conditions are present. Although proper program design and good compliance could allow you to minimize further fat gain when your primary goal is building muscle, the fact is you need to get rid of excess fat from your body to look toned and chiseled.
To do this, they add cells to the muscle fibers, and this is how muscles get bigger and stronger (and why progressive overload is so important for building muscle and strength). Two adaptations are particularly relevant to the subject at hand: a reduction in both anabolic hormone levels and protein synthesis rates.
When in a calorie deficit, protein synthesis rates may not be able to outpace protein degradation rates and hence, no muscle growth.
Contrast that with the reality that someone with 3+ years of proper training under their belts is limited to 3 to 5 pounds of muscle gain per year, and you see the magnitude of these effects. What you’re usually looking at is a combination of muscle memory, drugs, and Photoshopping. Like naringin, this also stimulates the production of adiponectin and activates the PPARa receptor. Conversely, the best result when cutting means losing body fat and retaining as much hard-earned muscle as possible. There are a number of obvious factors – what you eat and how you train – that will help determine your outcome, but here is the one of foremost importance: What’s your current body fat percentage? If levels of body fat are somewhat higher, decent results can still be obtained, but likely not of the same caliber as would be the case for a leaner person. If you foresee the need or desire to become extra-shredded in the future, it’s not a bad idea bulk up first, and follow up with a careful cutting phase, to define your increased muscularity. The best thing to do is start cutting until your adiposity decreases sufficiently and you can objectively state that you are at least reasonably lean. Every single day countless guys decide embark on a quest to get lean, build muscle or do both—and that’s a great thing. I read the fitness magazines, followed the routines, took the supplements, stuck with it and did the cardio but didn’t achieve squat. Most of the guys (and ladies) you see there are exceptions, not the rule—they’re genetically gifted, meaning that they respond differently to training than most ordinary men. When talking about “Super Hybrid Muscle,” we’re referring to a muscle that has essentially been reconfigured, adding mitochondrial density, which results in a bigger stronger muscle with more endurance capacity. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors did not take supplements yet they built powerful, muscular physiques. Essential fat is necessary for normal function in the body and small amounts are stored in the organs, central nervous system, bone marrow & muscle. More lean muscle translates to better metabolic capacity, resulting in more calories being burned each day, even at rest.
This type of exercise has been shown to burn a lot of calories and fat without compromising muscle, which is usually decreased with high amounts of low intensity cardio. Even worse, skipping meals will lead your body into a “starvation mode,” which ends up with more fat storage. Building muscle and losing body fat does not happen overnight, so it is important you are realistic with your expectations. You see, if you decide to get lean first you can use an optimized nutrition and training program to maintain and build some muscle while losing fat. Which could take you very close to optimal body composition and a nice toned physique that would look impressive at the end of your fat loss program.
Although concurrent fat loss and muscle gain can happen, the rate ratio at which it occurs depends on individual conditions and special program design. If it creates more or less the same number as it lost, you have neither gained nor lost muscle. Increased lean muscle mass provides a host of benefits, including a healthy metabolism, greater strength and the confidence instilled by looking and feeling strong. To gain muscle requires increasing caloric intake, and if those calories end up being converted to fat – well, a frustrating setback may ensue.
Cutting refers to eating and training with the goal of losing fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Unfortunately, many fall into the repetitive cycle of getting nowhere fast, achieving exactly the opposite of what they desire. The sad part is that most of those guys won’t see the results they’d hoped to see and after a while, they’ll give up their efforts, feeling like a failure and wondering where they went wrong. There are three different types of muscle: cardiac, visceral or smooth, and skeletal muscle. Sofia is a bikini athlete who competes in the National Physique Committee (NPC), as well as a fitness writer, fitness model and motivator. Yes, if you are eating enough protein, cycling your calories and lifting weights properly you will maintain and gain some muscle even if your program is primarily focused on fat loss. If it does, then you ought to read on because Lean Hybrid Muscle may be the program you’ve been looking for. First, their daily lives centered on intense physical activities—what we would today refer to as hybrid muscle training. For this article purposes, we will be referring to the latter type, which further breaks down into Type 1 (red, slow twitch) and Type 2 (fast twitch) muscles.
Body fat goes down with a proper workout, nutrition regimen, and a healthy lifestyle, regardless of weight. Sofia hopes to inspire other individuals to pursue their passions through her fitness success. He does not have a lot of muscle mass, but his very low body fat creates that nice lean and toned physique. Continuing to lift will assist the process of fat-burning and help retain the muscle and strength you already possess. Her motto is "Dream BIG," meaning NOTHING is impossible with perseverance, hard work, and believing in yourself. Honestly, that is really the best way to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Subcutaneous fat lies right beneath the skin, is found mostly in the hips and gluteus, and has no real negative health implications. These muscles surround the bones through tendons, attach to other muscles via ligaments, and give individuals their shape. In addition, she strives to advocate for health from a holistic approach, helping others gain both physical AND mental strength thus increasing self worth and confidence. Visceral fat on the other hand is the type that is found deep around the vital organs, and in excess has some serious medical consequences. On average, men body mass is comprised of 42% skeletal muscle, while in women its about 36%. These muscles as previously mentioned, are responsible for all movement of the body, and so are very important in terms of injury prevention and health. Having a higher amount of lean muscle mass through exercise, or “hypertrophy” of the muscle, is associated with many benefits. What we fail to realize is fat is not just fat: It is an ACTIVE ORGAN that releases harmful chemicals, hence the danger of visceral fat surrounding the organs.
However, the good news is this type of fat usually responds well to training & diet and decreases after the initiation of such lifestyle changes.



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