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Building muscle size while losing weight, is this possible?

Date Added: June 07, 2008 05:21:06 PM
Category: Bodybuilding

The age old question that fitness newcomers and amateur bodybuilders have always been trying to find the answer to, is whether one can actually build muscle mass while losing weight? Yes everyone would like to have the best of both worlds and hope that the answer is ‘Yes’ but unfortunately, reality is much more complex than that.


Please note that when people refer to ‘losing weight’ they usually mean ‘losing fat’. Technically lowering ones body fat percentage while building muscle mass is possible. However the process involves a lot of calculation and planning and can be tricky to say the least, not to mention time consuming. Trying to reach both goals at the same time can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.

Traditionally, bodybuilding and fitness buffs have always followed a two step method, involving a six month ‘bulking’ phase followed by a ‘cutting’ phase and this is for good reason. The reason being that building muscle mass and losing fat are contradictory to each other. The fact that one has to maintain a reduced calorific intake to burn fat and that muscle building requires increased energy in the form of extra calories explains why attaining both goals at the same time is quite a difficult feat. Yes, it is possible but involves finding and maintaining that perfect caloric balance which is no easy task for most regular folk.

The reason why the two-stage, bulking and cutting method has endured as the weapon of choice for bodybuilders worldwide is due to its simplicity. During the bulking phase the bodybuilder has but one goal, to put on as much weight as possible. A tremendously increased food intake leads to increased weight which includes a generous increase in body fat as well. This is what provides the energy required for the heavy workouts and the fuel to repair and build muscle.  
Generally this process takes up 6 months. In colder climates, the bulking phase is timed to coincide with winter months when excess flab can be hidden under heavy coats and jackets! Come spring, its time for the second stage, the cutting phase. The muscles that have been built during the past few months now play an important part in shedding the excess fat. The increased muscle mass needs to burn increased fuel in order to sustain itself. Since the cutting phase involves reduced calorific intake, the muscle is forced to feed on the body fat. The body is transformed into a metabolic fat burning machine!

A few months of intense training while keeping up with the reduced intake of calories, will see the fat melting off quickly. For those serious about showing off their transformed body, just in time for summer, a six pack is also a possibility! All it takes is formulating a plan of action and sticking to it all year long. This two step method to building muscle is surely the way to go. It keeps things simple and allows you to focus on and keep track of a single goal at a time.

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