In this article, I am going to show you how to execute a “body recomposition” by simultaneously losing fat and building muscle… saving you a ton of time and headaches in the gym.
Here is a summary of the “rules” to a successful body recomposition; without supplements or steroids.
- You are a beginner with less than 6 to 12 months of proper weight lifting experience.
- You maintain a small calorie deficit (a big deficit will mean faster fat loss but at the expense of building muscle!)
- Keep your daily protein intake high (approx 0.8–1 g/lb of body weight is ideal) — more is beneficial and not harmful.
- Ensure you are progressing in your work-outs in the gym (either increasing reps and/or weight over time) — consider a good beginner strength training program like Push-Pull-Legs or StrongLifts 5×5.
And that’s it 🙂 Let me break these down further and give you some science to help you understand these rules…
Maintain a Body Recomposition Calorie Deficit
The reason is because you cannot lose fat unless you are in a calorie deficit —or consuming fewer calories than what your body needs — but you can still build muscle!
If you become too aggressive with your calorie deficit — you will lose fat faster but you will significantly impact muscle growth, and cause a host of other issues such as binge eating! (I’ve made that mistake! Be patient… you will thank me later!)
In this study on elite trained athletes that were “cutting” over a 9-week period, found they were able to gain muscle while losing fat.
They achieved this by performing a “slow cut” with the aim to lose a maximum of 0.7% of their body weight per week.
For example, if my weight is 200 lbs. I would aim to lose (0.7% of 200 lbs = 1.4 pounds per week). This equates to just over a maximum caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.
It is important to keep in mind that, as a beginner, you will be gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously. This means pay very little attention to your bathroom scales and ensure your weight is not dropping too fast!
High Protein Intake for Body Recomposition
When it comes down to body composition or recomposition — protein is the most important macronutrient (out of carbohydrate and fat) in your diet.
In this study, consuming a high protein diet of around 3.4 g/kg of body weight per day (or 1.6 g/lb of body weight) in conjunction with heavy weight training will confer the benefits of body composition.
In another study investigating the effects of high versus low protein intake on body composition for female physique athletes.
It was found that every single female subject showed a gain in muscle when consuming 2.4 g/kg of body weight per day (or 1 g/lb of body weight).
Compared to the “low protein” intake group (0.4 g/lb of body weight) where some female subjects lost muscle mass or showed no gain in muscle.
Ensure you keep making progress in the gym.
This was a concept I didn’t fully understand when I started my fitness journey.
The primary driver of muscle growth is progressive overload, which refers to increasing tension in your muscles over time.
This means that everytime you visit the gym, you need to work on adding slightly more weight to the bar, or increasing your reps, or both.
Any good strength training program will incorporate compound exercises — which is any exercise that activates multiple major muscle groups. A few fantastic compound exercises to get familiar with are the barbell squat, bench press, military press, and deadlifting.
For someone like me that has been consistently strength training for years — this is not as easy as it sounds. For a beginner with less than 6 months of training experience — you’ll typically experience big jumps in weight and reps before your progress eventually slows down.
Putting it all together!
- Use my simple online calculator to create a slight calorie deficit of around 500 fewer calories per day. Your weekly weight loss target will be around 0.7% of your body weight per week.
- Keep your protein intake at around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day for body recomposition (even on “rest days”) 🙂
- Undertake a beginner strength training program like Push-Pull-Legs or StrongLifts 5×5 which emphasise progressive overload.
That’s it 🙂 You don’t need supplements or steroids! This can be all done “naturally” and successfully, provided you don’t have any of the following limitations.
Body recomposition Limitations
There are a few things that will work against your ability to successfully execute a body recomposition.
The leaner you are, the less drastic your body recomposition will be and lastly;
The closer you are to your genetic potential, the lower your chance of executing a successful body recomposition (my current problem!)
I wish I knew all of these details when I first started my journey. I would have saved alot of time which I wasted on useless magazine workouts.
Just remember to use my online calculator to help you accurately figure out your target calories and macronutrient needs. It will help you create the slight calorie deficit you need to get the ball rolling 🙂
Also, I supply meal plans to help you track and monitor your food intake. This will ensure you stay on track and get the results you deserve to achieve.
Try the suggestions in this article for at least 6 weeks before making any conclusions. And don’t forget to share your progress with me. Your emails mean the world to me and help keep me serving the community 🙂
What is your experience with a body recomposition?
Let me know in the comments below!