There is a lot of misconceptions around recomposition, the process of both weight loss and muscle growth during the same period. Well, it is possible under certain conditions and in this guide you will learn the fastest way to lose weight and gain muscle.
What is the fastest way to lose weight and gain muscle?
The fastest way to lose weight and gain muscle is by pairing an optimized diet with resistance training. The diet should be a slight calorie deficit with sufficient protein spread out evenly throughout the day. Resistance training should be performed 3 to 4 times a week with progressive overload.
Keep reading to better understand how to implement all of this into your lifestyle and to learn a few other important tips!
Who can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
Losing weight and gaining muscle is difficult, the former requires a calorie deficit while the latter needs a calorie surplus. Because of this, there generally only 3 types of people who can accomplish this goal effectively; beginners with high body fat, deconditioned athletes, and steroid users.
Beginners and deconditioned athletes have a lower sensitivity to protein synthesis spikes caused by training. This will lead to drastically improved ability to build muscle compared to those with longer experience in the gym.
Individuals who use anabolic steroids will have a greatly improved ability to build muscle through the added testosterone.
If you fall under one of the three categories or want to try to recomp anyways, keep reading to learn how you can best set yourself up for success.
How to eat to lose weight and gain muscle
If you want your diet to best help you lose weight and gain muscle, you should be following a few guidelines. Aim for a protein intake between .7 to 1 gram per pound of body weight, distribute protein evenly 4 hours apart, aim for a slow weekly weight loss goal of 0.5% to 1% of your total weight.
That high of protein will serve to give your body an optimal level of fuel for muscle repair and growth.
Protein also is very statiaeting and has a high thermic effect, two things that make weight loss an easier process for you.
The reason we spread this protein evenly every four hours throughout the day is because our body tends to absorb what we eat over 4 – 5 hours. Having these windows of time full is a very optimal way to stimulate muscle growth.
Finally, creating a smaller calorie deficit and slower weight loss helps you retain muscle as you cut. Bigger deficits might be faster, but time will still be lost when you attempt to recoup any loss muscle.
How to use resistance training to lose weight and gain muscle faster
Resistance training should be done if you want the fastest way to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.
Resistance training is well researched, lucky for you that means there are guidelines to follow that will maximize your gains.
3 times a week
For an average individual, their body takes 48 hours to fully recover.
More advanced athletes can get away with 24 hours, but 48 is optimal.
Following this rule, with 7 days a week, you can at most target each muscle 3 times per week and still allow enough time to recover.
For an example to give you a starting point, you can choose to have 3 full body workouts per week or alternate upper and lower muscle groups for 6 days.
Sets and Reps
For some people, lifting weights just means going to the gym and lifting as much as they can till they feel like they had a good workout.
But if you want to build muscle fast, you should adjust how you look at sets and reps.
Research has shown that for muscle growth, lifters should at minimum perform 12 sets per week per muscle. Once you go past 20 sets, the results start to diminish.
As for reps, performing between 8 – 12 per set has been shown to get best results.
Finally, to send the right signals to your body that it needs to build muscle, progressive overload needs to be incorporated.
Progressive overload is the process of increasing the stress you put on your muscles over time. In a perfect scenario this means being able to lift more than you did last session with the same reps,sets and form.
Lose weight before building muscle
Similar to the concept of a jack of all trades master of none, aiming to accomplish one goal at a time instead of multiple might lead you to the quicker results.
I know you are reading this article to learn the fastest way to lose weight and build muscle simultaneously, but hear me out.
If you take this approach you might take longer to hit your goal because of the nature of the conflicting goals of weight loss and muscle growth.
You might be fast relative to the topic of recomposition, but the fastest slug is still slower than a car.
So with taking that into consideration, consider losing weight first and aiming to enter a good body fat percentage.
Weight loss itself tends to lead to satisfaction and better looks, so with that ace up your sleeve you can tackle adding lean mass to your frame without worrying of becoming overweight.
Paired with resistance training and correct nutrition, you can still build some muscle anyways and decide how much more you would like to add.
The Effect of Stress On Weight Loss and muscle Growth
If you want the fastest way to lose weight and gain muscle, then it is a good idea to know that avoiding stress will be a big focus. Stress negatively impacts your health in a way that makes both losing weight and building muscle a tough challenge.
When it comes to losing weight stress causes several potential issues. When you are under stress you can be victim to the following effects:
- Poor sleep patterns
- Increased appetite
- Unhealthy cravings
- lack of motivation to exercise
On the other hand, stress releases cortisol, a hormone that can inhibit muscle protein synthesis and even break down already existing muscle.
In the past maybe all of these results of increased stress could have saved us during times of extreme danger, but in today’s world they instead inhib the attainment of good health.
Of course, eliminating stress means doing things like creating a stress free environment, reducing stressful activities and implementing relaxing ones.
But, cardio should also be cut back. Cardio has many benefits towards your overall health, but long steady state cardio can also cause the release of cortisol.
Losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time is possible for certain individuals.
If you hope to achieve that goal then remember to optimize your diet and training variables.
Reducing stress also goes a long way to help you.
If you are new to resistance training, check out my completely free beginners workout plan. It is a weak guide created to set a good foundation for not only now but also future success. Click here to check it out!