How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle For A Dream Body 

May 6, 2021

By Troy Adashun


Want to know how to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously? Or if it's even possible? The answer is yes, it is. The saying “if there is a will, there is a way” is true when it comes to doing a body recomposition.  The trick is setting a realistic goal for your body. As your target isn’t solely on losing weight, nor is it to get insane gains, it will take a little longer; however, the results will be pretty impressive. 

The Pros and Cons

There are a few pros and cons of burning fat and gaining muscle mass at the same time. It is not for someone that wants to lose insane amounts of weight fast, just as it is not a program for insane muscle gain.

The cons

top view of sport equipment measuring tape alarm clock

Time is the most important consideration when opting to go for both. If your goals are to lose fat fast, then this approach is perhaps not suited to you. If bulking fast without losing fat is your game plan, this is not the program for you either. 

The two main approaches to training are either shredding or bulking. They are considered 100% focus methods; you will either 100% focus on losing weight via fat loss or 100% focus on building muscle mass. 

  • To gain hulk proportions of pure muscle, you need to eat like the Rock and train with intense weight lifting sessions throughout the week. Your diet will consist of a calorie surplus, with carbs and high protein. You can expect to rest and get a great night’s sleep.
  • To shred stubborn fat off in the fastest way possible, you need to eat a calorie deficit. Think of clean and green eating, no junk food. Your workouts will be HIIT and weights combined. You need adequate rest and hydration.

What you can expect: In order for you to burn fat and build mass, you need a 50/50 approach. You will focus on both aspects. You aren’t going to get rid of ALL your fat, and you will not be building 100% muscle. You will have visible results on both fronts at the same time. However, it is a 12-week program. 

Experienced lifters will not see the same results; you will have to work a little harder to get the results you are looking for. It might be better to bulk and then shred through a process of HIIT sprints instead.

The Pros

man training in the gym how to lose fat and gain muscle

One of the advantages of this program is the worse shape you are in, the better the results. If you are already big and built, your results won’t be as impressive. Making this the best method for anyone getting into fitness from the start. The less experience you have, the better for you and your results. In other words, this method works well for everyone. 

Typical weight loss programs will mean that you lose a percentage of your muscle as well. As your body kicks into the burning mode, it will burn muscle as well as fat stores. This happy medium aims to break down body fat and gain muscle, not to lose weight. 

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle: The 3 Steps

The most important thing to remember that the smaller details count. You need to commit to the process, whether you are getting fit for a purpose or just looking and feeling great. If you do not commit to the process, it will not work, and you will end up dissatisfied. It will take about 12 weeks in total to get the ultimate best results.

Get Shredded With A Life

Superhuman Fitness is about having and enjoying your life while getting shredded. This program will not see you miserable and make your entire life revolve around getting ripped; the idea is to maintain your lifestyle while looking your best. There are three critical components to getting big and lean the healthy way. 

#1 Diet

Food is fuel for the body; it only makes sense that your diet is one of the most crucial components to building muscle and losing fat. Eating correctly while still enjoying your food is essential; you aren’t going to live on leaves and brown rice. Let’s break it down into sections. 

Calories

Calorie Calculator

The first step is to calculate your optimal maintenance caloric intake; this is the number of calories your body needs to keep functioning daily and maintain your current weight. Calorie calculators will factor in your weight, height, and activity levels. They will give you three numbers. One for maintaining your weight, one for gaining weight, and one for extreme weight loss. 

  • If your metabolism is sluggish and you struggle to shed pounds, you should decrease your calorie intake by 250 calories.
  • If you have a fast metabolism and manage to lose weight fast enough, stick to your maintenance calories. 

Calorie Split - The Re-Feed Theory

Post Workout Meal - Donuts, Chicken and Fries

Once you have figured out the number of calories, you need to stick to it every day. If you know you enjoy indulging a little more over the weekend and prefer to stick to slightly lower calories during the week and indulge on a Saturday, that is fine too.  Remember, you shouldn’t be eating yourself into a state of panic. Your diet shouldn’t restrict your life.

That being said, calculate the number of calories you have eaten throughout the week and get the average daily amount. If your cheat day is within 100 calories of your total, you are in the green. Two weeks of counting meticulously, and you will be able to do it in your sleep. 

For example, if your maintenance calories are 2600 per day, and you choose to eat 2300 calories on most days, a cheat day of 3100 calories is perfectly fine. Enjoy it; you have worked hard enough for the treatment, also called a re-feed. 

The food

There are plenty of unrealistic diets out there that consist of high protein, low-fat, low-carb, or any other macros combination that can make life confusing. The most important thing to remember with food is getting enough protein and when to eat your carbs.

coriander rice

Carbs - Stick to eating carbs before or after a workout. As they are anabolic, you need them to retain your muscles. Carbs are not the scary monsters most diets will have you believe. Eating carbs after an intense workout is one of the best ways to get your body to burn fat instead of breaking down vital muscle tissue for energy. Try to avoid eating your carbs at night; stick to eating them within an hour of your workout.

Lose Belly Fat - Chicken Brest

Protein - Your protein intake is essential; you need protein for optimal muscle growth. Protein is also vital for maintaining and building muscle tissue. Most often, if you aren’t eating enough protein, it will show in your gains as you lose muscle. It is recommended to eat at least 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight per day. In other words, if you weigh 200 lbs, you need 200g of protein per day. You can divide this number up into three meals or eat it spread across two meals.

#2 Training

Your new training program will have you become an athletic body-builder. Yes, that is right; athletic body-building is how you see a loss in fat and muscle gains simultaneously. The training program includes intense weight lifting for maximum muscle gains and HIIT cardio to burn more calories.

Weight training

Balloon Method Workout

Your strength training is one of the most important factors; it is broken down into a few sections. The training will follow the balloon method. It is one of the few scientifically proven ways to build muscle. 

These are the balloon method basics which I personally use when training because I know I will see the results I want:

  • Overload sets - You need to be lifting heavy in the 4-8 rep range till failure.
  • Tension sets - This is the “time under tension” method where you will keep that muscle under tension for higher reps; you should aim for 15+ reps until total failure. Use lighter weights, higher reps, continue till failure.
  • Muscle Damage Sets - Here, you will use drop sets, supersets, slow eccentrics, or any type of new and shocking stimulus to the muscles you are training.

Intensity

man loading weights on bench press exercise station at the gym

Intensity is not just for HIIT training. Strength training should be intense. In strength training, the intensity is the weight you are lifting—the heavier the weight, the higher the intensity. 

Think of the heaviest weight you can safely lift - that is your one-rep max - you are lifting at 100% intensity. You need to overload to stimulate growth.

 This is where tracking your workouts becomes essential. If you continue lifting the same amount of weight, you will not progress onto bigger and heavier things. 

You should aim to increase your load each time you work out. That is the best way to stimulate muscle growth. Working your muscles in different ways is the key to getting them to grow. Add in a few different growth methods:

  • Drop sets
  • Supersets
  • Tension sets
  • Rest-pause overloads
  • Cluster sets

Activation

Seated Curls

Time under tension sets are one of the best ways to get your muscles building. You don’t need to lift heavy alone to stimulate that growth. Splitting your workout into two sections is key, one for heavy lifting the other for focusing on getting your muscles under tension for as long as possible. 

Drop the weight to a lighter weight and increase your reps; you will feel the burn. 

Keep going until total failure. The micro-tears that this creates produce lean muscle gains. Using this method is key to burning fat and gaining muscle.

Frequency

Troy doing a barbell deadlift at the gym

If you are not in the best shape and have just started working out, it will be much easier to lose fat and build muscle. You can get gains by training your entire body once a week. As your fitness improves, however, you will need to up the frequency. It is a concept called the ‘law of diminishing returns’. 

Your first few weeks might see to it that you have excellent results that will begin to slow down as you become an intermediate to advanced lifter. You need to train each muscle group twice a week. 

Try this: Split your workouts into two. It might sound insane. But what if you could run a marathon with a nap in between, guaranteed that your total times would be higher as you have had time to rest? 

Troy pointing at his lats

Increase your training frequency to train each muscle group twice per week and split a 20 set workout into two separate workouts. You will get better gains and burn more calories for extra fat loss.  By the time you have hit the middle of your training, you will be fatigued if you choose to stick to one full workout. 

#3 Cardio

Getting ripped is in the finer details. You do not need to get 6 hours of cardio in a week if you want to lose fat. All that will do is tire you out. Cardio is an essential factor in lowering your body fat percentage if it is done correctly. 

Troy doing hiit sprints

The trick is training your fast-twitch muscle fibers using HIIT sprints or any other HIIT cardio. Those fast-twitch fibers are crucial; they boost hormones and speed up your metabolism for 24 hours. Meaning you burn fat for hours after you have worked out. Does that sound perfect for anyone trying to lose weight? 

HIIT cardio is excellent for muscle building and fat loss; it is all down to training the fast-twitch muscle fibers. How much time should you spend doing cardio per week? All you need is 2 - 3 sessions of 20 - 30 minutes. Scatter your cardio between the days you have set aside for lifting weights. 

The Basics of HIIT Cardio

Sprints

You need to perform any cardio activity for 100% maximum intensity for 10 - 30 seconds, rest for 45 in an active or lowered intensity, increase to maximum intensity and reduce back down. Repeat this cycle 6 - 10 times per workout. 

These are the best forms of cardio that you can use to get your HIIT training in:

  • Sprint Intervals - Sprint for 10 - 20 seconds. Rest for 90 seconds of active rest, lightly moving to keep your muscles active. Repeat for 4 - 8 sets of intense sprinting.
  • Stationary Bike - Pedal as hard as you can for 30 - 30 seconds at maximum intensity, pedal at rest for 45 seconds - this completes one set repeat for 6 - 10 sets.
  • Skipping - try this insane HIIT jump session for days where you just don’t feel like sprinting. Skip on both feet for 10 skips, switch to your right foot for 10 steps, alternate to the left foot for 10 skips. After each set, drop one skip until you reach zero.

Getting started

It is always advisable to get a personal trainer to do a body composition test if you are a newbie. A fitness expert will be able to tell you exactly how much body fat you have and how much you should lose to get into the best shape. 

Speak to them about adjusting your diet to get the right amount of calories per day to lose weight. Remember, a severe caloric deficit is not advised; your body requires carbs and some calories to function correctly while building muscle. High-intensity exercise burns fat; if you are not eating enough, your body will begin breaking down muscle.

The magic of putting it all together

Superhuman Ripped Guarantee

Whenever I want to get ripped as fast as possible the only difference in my workouts is that I include sprints and other fast twitch training 2-3x per week. Above is my 12 week transformation.

It is pretty simple. Eat fewer calories, train smarter, and there you have it. Stick to this program for at least four weeks; you will see the changes and reap the benefits in no time. The best results come when you stick to the program for at least 12 weeks to get the best fat loss and muscle gains.

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