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Is It Possible To Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time?

Listen to the post, Is It Possible To Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time, on our Live Lean TV Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast!

What Does Body Recomposition Mean?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we’re answering a viewer question who asked, is it possible to burn fat and build muscle at the same time?

But before we dive into that, I want to share some huge news.

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With all that out of the way, let’s answer today’s viewer question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 015.

Here’s today’s viewer question:

@sarasmile1984 on Snapchat asks: Hey guys, here’s my question. Is it possible to burn fat (lose weight) and gain muscle at the same time? Thanks for the videos! #AskLiveLeanTV

It’s funny how you said, “burn fat” and then added in brackets, “lose weight”.

This is an important distinction since fat burn does not always mean weight loss.

Tricky, I know.

This point also kind of answers the question.

Let me explain.

Muscle Helps Increase Your Metabolism

A lot of people believe, as you’re gaining muscle, you’re also burning fat, since muscle burns fat.

However, this explanation tends to be too simplistic.

Muscle is more metabolically expensive, however it doesn’t necessarily burn fat if you’re still in a large calorie surplus.

When you build new muscle, what really happens is you raise your metabolism.

This helps you burn fat naturally, assuming your diet is not also in a crazy calorie surplus.

How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?

When you are in a big calorie surplus, it would be possible to gain muscle and gain fat at the same time.

However, it’s also possible to burn fat and build muscle at the same.

This is what we call body recomposition, also referred to as, body recomp.

Here’s Why Most People Gain Fat When Building Muscle

If your primary goal is 100% muscle building, and not body recomposition, then yes, you’re most likely going to gain some body fat with that approach.

Especially if you’re following a bulking approach, which puts you in an excessively high calorie surplus.

Should You Bulk Or Cut Before Building Muscle?

This is what happens to most people who “need to get bigger”, since they don’t care if they gain a little bit of fat with it.

Here’s Why Most People Lose Muscle When Losing Weight

On the flip side of that, when you have people who’s primary goal is to lose weight, rather than following a body recomposition approach, they go into an excessive calorie deficit to cut weight faster.

Unfortunately, being in an excessive calorie deficit potentially leads to burning into muscle tissue, which negatively affects your metabolism over the long-term.

Want To Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time?

When you follow a body recomposition approach, depending on which goal is a higher priority, you put yourself in either a:

  • slight calorie surplus for muscle building
  • slight calorie deficit for fat loss

Even though this approach may allow you to slowly accomplish both goals at one time, the results are not going to be as quick and dramatic.

I Have Always Followed The Body Recomposition Approach

Brad Gouthro Before After

When it came to the story of my fitness journey, I followed the body recomposition approach most of the time.

This meant I made slow progress over a longer period of time.

I was never in bulk mode, meaning I’ve never followed a real bulk phase, which would have led to a puffy physique.

I’ve also never done a total cut, where I followed a cut phase for a long period of time to get shredded and stage ready for a fitness competition.

My fitness journey has primarily been a body recomp.

Is It Possible To Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time?

Based on my experience, the answer is yes, it is possible to burn fat and build muscle at the same time, but it’s difficult to do.

However, with the right workout programming and meal planning, it can work.

If you’re interested in following a body recomposition approach, I would recommend you follow my Live Lean Afterburn 2.0 workout and nutrition program.

I designed this program specifically for people looking to enter a body recomposition phase.

Jessica’s Done It All

When it comes to fitness, Jessica has done it all.

Before she met me, she’s tried:

  • nasty bulking
  • severe cutting

It may be hard for you to imagine Jessica on a dirty bulk, but she was definitely following that approach back in 2007.

She admits that when she finally met me, she finally figured out how to follow a body recomposition approach, without cutting or bulking.

I find this funny because typically you would think it was the dude who go through the bulking and cutting phases, not the girl.

Even though Jessica looks like the little miss princess, between the two of us, she actually is more of the bro.

Jessica admits that her past experiences were embarrassing, but the good thing is how much she’s learned.

In other words, she learned what not to do, including all the things that do not work.

She will be the first to admit that taking the extreme approach to anything regarding fitness is never the right answer.

Bottom Line: Is It Possible To Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time?

When it comes to transforming your physique, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

For example, you may hear other people disagree and recommend the extreme bulking and cutting approach.

However, in our opinion, extreme bulking and cutting is just not worth it.

We have been doing this for a lot of years now, and have a lot of experience working with clients.

Not only do we rely on our own experience, we also see how things are working through our client’s experiences.

Based on this, we can tell you that you are much better off when you focus on the long-term vision.

Set your goals on Living Lean for life, instead of trying to get shredded really quick.

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Now I want you to go check out this video post on the truth about my bodyweight workouts.

The Unique Benefits of Bodyweight Workouts


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

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  • Do you currently workout at the gym or at home?
  • Is your primary goal muscle building or fat loss?

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