Loss of body fat versus building muscle. Can both be done at the same time?
Or loosing weight versus becoming stronger
Although they are both important for a good health and athletic performance there still a considerable problem: to loose fat and/or loose weight your body needs less energy / calories than it consumes, so your body is in a "catabolic (destructive) position.
On the other hand in order to become stronger and develop more muscle you actually need an energy surplus, so you need more energy than you consume; therefore your body should be in an anabolic (building) state.
In a catabolic state your body will adjust its hormones and similarly for an anabolic state – see Re-feedingfor more information.
So however you look at it the two can not occur simultaneously in a natural way. People who now this well are bodybuilders. They divide their time between “off-season” periods and competition periods. During the off-season, they do their best to increase their muscle mass after which, starting 12 weeks or longer in advance of a competition period, they switch from a building scedule to a fat lowering diet.
Most people get a bit nervous when they hear the word bodybuilding, but try to read a bit further and don’t immediately click away.
When talking about bodybuilding our thoughts go immediately to doping and huge muscles, but you do not have to be afraid. Doping is a conscious decision for each individual (you do it to yourself!) and in fact, before you even start developing any muscles you have to first train really hard, you have to have the right genes for it, have to eat the right and be male!
Of course women can also develop some muscles but possibilities for them are a lot more limited, unless they start making use of male hormones (doping).
So to go back to the starting point of this discussion: The basic principles that bodybuilders use apply to everyone. Keep the stages of losing weight and building muscle separate. If you want to reach both, you have to do them separately. First of all you need to make sure that you get rid of any extra weight you might have and before you start thinking about building muscle. Unless ofcourse you don,t care about you weight and just want to be big and strong.
Are you already happy with your current body fat % , then you can get started right away with building your muscles, but keep in mind that in order to reach this you will have to take into account the fact that temporarily you will need a bit of a higher percentage of fat. With only 5 / 8% of body fat on your you won’t be able to build any extra muscle!