“How can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?” That’s right up there
with “How do I get six pack abs” as one of the most frequently asked fitness
questions of all time. The problem is, when you ask it, you get all kinds of
conflicting answers – even from experts who are supposed to know these things.
So what’s the deal? Is it really possible to lose fat and build muscle
Short answer: Yes, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the “same time.”
Long answer: It’s difficult and it’s complicated. Allow me to explain…
First we have the issue of whether you really lose fat and gain muscle at the
Well, yes, if your definition of the “same time” is say, a month or 12 weeks.
But in that case, you’re probably not gaining muscle at the “same time”
literally speaking, as in, right now this very moment you are reading this, or 7
days a week, 24 hours a day for months in a row.
The best explanation for what’s really happening is that you alternate between
periods of caloric surplus (anabolism) and caloric deficit (catabolism) and the
net result is a gain in muscle and a loss in body fat.
You see, if you stay in a calorie surplus, it’s the body’s natural tendency for
body fat and lean body mass to go up together. And if you stay in a calorie
deficit, it’s your body’s natural tendency for body fat and lean body mass to go
There may be exceptions, but the general rule is that it is very difficult to
gain muscle and lose fat at the same time – the mechanisms are mostly
antagonistic to one another. When it does happen, it’s almost always the result
of “unusual conditions” – I call them X factors.
The 4 X-Factors
The first X-factor is “training age” . Ever hear of “newbie gains?” The less
trained your body is and the further you are from your genetic potential, the
easier it is to gain muscle. The reverse is also true – an advanced bodybuilder
with 20 years experience would be thrilled just to gain a few pounds of solid
dry muscle in a year!
The second x factor is muscle memory. It’s easier to regain muscle you’ve lost
than it is to gain new muscle in the first place (ergo, the fat out of shape
semi retired bodybuilder who starts training again and blows up and gets ripped
The third X factor is genetics (or somatotype). Ever heard of the “genetic
freak?” That’s the dude who sprouts muscle like weeds even when he’s on the
“50-50 diet” (50% McDonald’s and 50% pizza)” and he never gets fat. (That dude
chose the right parents!)
The fourth X factor is drugs. It would stun (or sadden) you if you knew how many
people take performance and physique-enhancing drugs. I’m not just talking about
pro bodybuilders, I’m talking about “Joe six pack” in the gym – not to mention
those fitness models you idolize in the magazines. How did they get large muscle
gains with concurrent fat loss? Chemicals.
I’m not a gambling man, but I’ll place a wager on this any day: I’ll bet that in
99% of the cases of large muscle gains with concurrent large fat losses, one or
more of these x factors were present.
That’s not all! There are actually 5 more X factors related to your body
composition and diet status (the X2 factors). But I’ll have to talk about those
So you’re not a beginner, you don’t take roids, you’re not a genetic freak and
you have no muscle memory to take advantage of. Are you S.O.L? Well, I do want
you to be realistic about your goals, but…
There IS a way for the average person to gain muscle and lose fat at the same
The Secret: You have to change your “temporal perspective!”
Traditionally nutritionists and fitness pros have only looked at calorie balance
in terms of 24 hour periods. At midnight, you could tally up the calories like a
shopkeeper closing out his register, and if the balance were positive, you’d say
you were in a surplus for the day. If the balance were negative, you’d say you
were in a deficit for the day.
But it’s entirely possible that you might pass through periods of “within-day”
surplus where you were in a highly anabolic state (for example, you eat the
biggest, highest carb meal of the day after your workout), and you were in a
deficit the rest of the day.
If you did intense weight training, and you timed your nutrient intake
appropriately, Isn’t it possible that you could gain a small amount of muscle
during those anabolic hours, while losing fat the rest of the day? Granted it
might only be grams or ounces – but what if you kept that up for a week? A
month? Three months?
As you pan out and look at the bigger picture, what if most days of the week you
were in a deficit for the entire day, and on some days you were in a surplus? If
so, then isn’t it possible that over the course of the week, you’d have a small
net gain of muscle and loss of body fat a a result of the caloric fluctuation?
These within-day and within-week phases are called microcycles and mesocycles.
If you also had a primary goal with a longer term focus of several months, say
12 weeks or 16 weeks, that would be a macrocycle.
What I’ve just described is nutritional periodization. Some people call it
cyclical dieting. it’s where you manipulate your calories (primarily by
fluctuating carbohydrate intake, hence (“carb cyclin”) in order to intentionally
zig zag your way through periods of surplus and deficit and create specific
The end result: muscle gain and fat loss during the same time period!
I know that someone out there is having a hissy fit because I’ve only talked
about calories: deficits and surpluses. Rightfully so. Calories matter but
there’s more to it than calories – most importantly, hormones and “utrient
If you’re in a calorie deficit you are going to pull energy from your body.The
question is: From WHERE? If your hormones are out of whack and you’re eating
crap, you could lose more muscle than fat in a deficit and gain almost pure fat,
not muscle, in a surplus!
But WHAT IF you could manipulate within day energy balance, use nutritional
periodization AND control your hormones with food and lifestyle strategies?
AHA! NOW you can see how concurrent muscle gain and fat loss are starting to
Make no mistake – concurrent muscle gain and fat loss is a difficult goal to
achieve. The good news: difficult does not mean impossible. Or as George
Santayana said, “The difficult is that which can be done immediately, the
impossible, that which takes a little longer.”
The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program: How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at
The Same Time Click Here to Get THE HOLY GRAIL!
You can learn more about gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time in Tom
Venuto’s new e-book called, “The Holy Grail Body Transformation System.”
You’ll learn all about nutritional periodization, cyclical dieting, hormonal
manipulation, within day energy balance, nutrient partitioning, AND the all the
X factors, including the 5 “2-Factors” – which are the keys to gaining muscle
and losing fat at the same time.
You’ll also get Tom’s new “TNB” training system, as seen in Men’s Fitness
magazine (the complete, expanded version that Men’s Fitness didn’t have room to
At the moment, The Holy Grail ebook is not for sale separately and there are
only two ways you can get it.
From now until Midnight (PST), May 13th, 2010, you can get a copy of the Holy
Grail Body Transformation program ebook for FREE when you purchase the Burn The
Fat, Feed The Muscle e-book from this web page: www.BurnTheFat.com
The other way you can a a copy is by joining the Burn the Fat Inner Circle at:
After May 13th, 2010 at midnight PST The Holy Grail will be taken off the market
for a period of time while Tom is collecting case studies and getting feedback
from users, to include in the final edition – which WILL be released for sale
separately later this year.
Visit the Burn The Fat website now and jump on this deal while you still can.
About The Author
David Grisaffi majored in physical education and is a certified high
performance exercise kinesiologist with the prestigious CHEK institute.
David holds a total of 6 certifications, he is a high school wrestling
and baseball coach as well as an independent trainer and strength coach,
known especially for his work with professional boxers and golfers.
David is the author of Firm And Flatten Your Abs an online best seller
which teaches you how to lose body fat and develop ‘six pack abs’ while
improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You
can contact David or learn more about his programs at