How to Build Muscle While Losing Fat

I’ve explained Tuesday that the biggest key to fat loss is creating a caloric deficit: you need to eat less calories than your body burns. Yet many people and “experts” will say that it’s not as easy as calories in vs. calories out.

Much of the confusion comes from the fact that there are guys who build muscle while losing fat without that caloric deficit. I admit that I have StrongLifts Members who have done that. One of them is SL Member Rolf (37, Canada) – he has lost fat while his body-weight actually increased. Check out the picture.

SL Member Rolf: Jan 2010 vs. Apr 2010

SL Member Rolf: Jan 2010 vs. Apr 2010

SL Member Rolf weighed 197lbs in January 2010 right before he found this site. Using StrongLifts 5×5 and the StrongLifts Diet, he gained 3lbs WHILE losing 1,5″ waist in 3 months. Clearly: SL Member Rolf gained muscle WHILE losing fat. By the way, Rolf is 37 and had 10y of training before finding StrongLifts.com

Many StrongLifts Members will tell you that they quickly built muscle WHILE losing fat during their first months on SL5x5. But these are EXCEPTIONS. The rule is that to lose fat, you need a caloric deficit.

  • eat more calories than your body burns => gain fat
  • eat less calories than your body burns => lose fat

As I’ve explained using the example of prison guys and Michael Phelps, your training matters more than your diet to build muscle. As long as you give your body the calories it needs for optimal recovery, it doesn’t matter what you eat.

And here lies the problem: the only way you can gain muscle WHILE losing fat is if you lift weights on a caloric deficit. But that’s not an optimal for muscle gains because lack of food harms your muscle recovery.

There are only 4 ways you can build muscle while losing fat. Guess which ones in the blog comment section. My answer follows tomorrow.

P.S. My friend Eric Cressey has a new video up today: how to master the Squat. To view this free video, click here now.

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