This myth still annoyingly floats around. The myth that you can turn fat into muscle.
If this were true then muscle building would be a piece of cake.
But this myth couldn’t be any further away from the truth.
Why you ask?
The Primary Driver Of Muscle Growth Is Progressive Overload
This can be exemplified in the myth of Milo. This is a story about a wrestler Called Milo of Croton. Milo has to carry a calf up and down a mountain. Until eventually that calf becomes a bull. The result? because the calf is getting bigger every day. Milos body is adapting to the new weight of the calf/bull resulting in Milo becoming bigger and stronger. click below to find out more.
Progressive Overload Is How Muscle Is Built
This is why you can’t turn fat into muscle. Only progressively overloading your muscles can do that.
A Calorie Surplus Is Needed To Build Muscle, But Not Always
If you’re brand new to lifting you can build muscle by simply just getting stronger. But after a few moths you’ll exhaust your bodies capacity to do this. And a moderate calorie surplus will be needed to produce muscle and strength growth.
Check out my article below on how to set up your diet and training to do this.
The Key Is To Build Muscle And Lose Fat For an Improved Body Composition
Now you know that the main driver of muscle growth is progressive overload, or getting stronger at the most important exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press.
If your goal is fat loss you must eat in a calorie deficit, (eat fewer calories than you burn).
Muscle And Fat Are Two Completly Different Substances
To build muscle you bulk ( eat in a calorie surplus) and to lose fat you cut ( eat fewer calories than you burn). But if you’re new to strength training you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
This is called a body recomposition. And it can radically improve your health and the way you look.
No Matter Your Body Fat Percentage Right Now You Can Absolutely Build Muscle And Lose Fat
If your body fat is above the 20% body fat range for males and 30% body fat range for females. It’s a good idea to cut ( lose fat) until you get to roughly 10% body fat for males and 20% body fat for females. Getting to this body fat range will set you up for a long muscle building/bulking phase.
It’s Important That You Get To A Healthy Body Fat Range
With any weight gain, it’s inevitable that you’ll store some body fat. It’s just part of the process.
But fat storage won’t be excessive as long as you maintain a moderate calorie surplus of 10%.
Fat And Muscle Serve Two Completely DIfferent Functions
Your fat stores are made up of triglycerides and your muscles are made up from myofibrils.
Myofibrils are fibres that are made up of sarcomeres. The function of a myofibril is to perform muscular contraction.
Whereas your fat stores are made up of triglycerides, they’re a type of fat found in your blood. Triglycerides store unused calories and provide your body with energy.
Muscle And Fat And Their Various Functions
Muscle is developed by inducing progressive overload. The more muscle you have the stronger you are (generally speaking). Muscle is functional.
Fat has a very important role ( although it does have others) which is its role as an energy store. When you fail to get enough calories to maintain your body weight (Eating in a calorie deficit). Your body uses up your fat stores as fuel to make up for the calorie deficit and serves as a source of energy.
For The Best Results Burn The Fat And Feed The Muscle
I know I’ve already talked about the body recomposition. But it’s the only way you can lose fat and simultaneously build muscle.
A body recomposition gives the impression that you’ve turned fat into muscle although in theory this isn’t true.
How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time In 3 Steps
Now that I’ve mentioned that if your a newbie ( or getting back into training for that matter) you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Here’s how you can do it.
1. Put Yourself In A Moderate Calorie Deficit Of 25%
A 25% calorie deficit is a perfectly sustainable calorie deficit to be in so that you can lose fat. This will ensure that you lose fat without getting too hungry.
For an in depth free guide on how to do this click below.
2. Eat 1 Gram Of Protein Per Pound Of Body Weight
This will give your body enough protein to stay full, and build muscle. Protein is also an essential macronutrient that you need to stay alive along with fat.
3. Make Sure You’re Heavy Resistance Training At Least 2-3 Times Per Week
To build muscle, do a body recomposition, or just maintain your muscle in general, you must get stronger at compound exercises like the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press.
If you get stronger at these exercises you will be progressively overloading your muscles.
Meaning your muscles will need to get bigger and stronger to deal with the increase in weight on the bar. Like in the myth of Milo.
The Bottom Line
- Muscle and fat serve two completely different functions. It’s impossible to turn one into the other. Unless You’re a wizard that is.
2. If You’re brand new to lifting or coming back from a lay off and need to lose some fat. There’s a good chance that you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
3. If you really want to maximise your muscle-building potential you need to be in a calorie surplus, eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and get stronger at the core compound exercises such as the bench press, deadlift, squat and overhead press. And read my muscle building article while you’re at it.
4. If you want to lose fat you must sustain a moderate calorie deficit ( eat fewer calories than you burn).
Thanks for reading.