Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Why is "gaining muscle while losing fat" the holy grail? page

  1. #1
    Sonnenblume's Avatar
    Sonnenblume is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    142

    Why is "gaining muscle while losing fat" the holy grail?

    Primal Fuel
    I am aware that this is something that is extremely hard to achieve: Gaining muscle while losing body fat, at least if you have already strength trained for some time and do not come from a totally sedentary lifestyle. I wonder why the model I am going to describe is flawed (and it is, otherwhise it would be easy). Imagine your calorie intake is balanced (I will talk about calories to simplify things) and you lift heavy. This causes those injuries to the muscles which promote muscle growth. The body needs some calories to repair that "damage" and lets a muscle grow that way. I fyou didn`t change your calorie intake it seems logical to me that those calories that are used to repair the muscle are "missing" which makes you loose fat. Obviously, it isn`t that easy...Can someone explain why my model doesn`t work?

  2. #2
    Primal Fist's Avatar
    Primal Fist is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    1,714
    Because your body does not convert fat into new muscle. Also, your primary statement on gaining muscle while losing fat being 'extremely hard'... it really isn't. It only appears this way because practically everybody who tries it (and complains on forums about it not working) is doing it wrong.

    Also your understanding of how muscle growth and adaptation occurs is flawed, which probably doesn't help - check out Practical Programming by Rippetoe and Kilgore (as an example). That should help a good deal.

    But basically, do (and stick to, without exception) a three days a week progressive lifting program, mix in some sprints and early morning fasted walks, eat a lot of meat and veg and not much else, and keep yourself hydrated. If you work hard and stick to your diet I personally guarantee you'll lose fat and gain muscle.

    edit: I should mention that this is dependent on your diet containing a high amount of protein, which will often need to be supplemented by whey shakes (in water).

  3. #3
    Sonnenblume's Avatar
    Sonnenblume is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    142
    Thank you, this makes sense! However, I didn`t suppose fat being converted to muscle! My idea was calories being used for something else (muscle development) and thus creating a calorie deficit that makes the body use up stored fat...But maybe this is how it works...

  4. #4
    Doddibot's Avatar
    Doddibot is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    215
    If you eat enough protein, you probably could do precisely what your model suggests. Muscle 'damage' will require amino acids for new protein synthesis, and fat cells will provide free fatty acids which can be used for energy for most cells, but aren't useful in protein synthesis. So the calories from fat cells can't directly provide protein for muscle growth.

    But I'd imagine that if the body has a choice between burning free amino acids or using stored fat, it'll go for the amino acids. So the amino acids will be used for energy and won't go to the muscles. At least, the majority of it won't (probably just enough to maintain the muscles, not to stimulate growth).
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  5. #5
    AndreaReina's Avatar
    AndreaReina is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    851
    It takes a very careful balance to gain muscle and lose fat as a trained athlete because you're already close to your genetic muscular limit, and therefore the rate of muscle growth is slow -- this translates to fewer calories being spent in synthesizing new muscle. So eat too little and you don't fuel the necessary adaptions -- you maintain or maybe even lose muscle mass. Eat too much and you maximize muscular growth, but there's also an excess that drives fat gain. Between the two is an area where you can gain muscle and lose fat; the area is larger (as a calorie range) for newbies and therefore you see it a lot with people who just start lifting. But since the range is narrower for trained people it's really difficult to hit that target on a consistent basis, so most people overfeed to make sure they're getting the muscular growth they want, and they'll deal with the fat later.

  6. #6
    Primal Fist's Avatar
    Primal Fist is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    1,714
    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    This is true. However, well trained athletes - and I'm talking athletes with muscle here, not endurance runners - will have a large metabolic advantage in that more muscle makes it significantly easier to lose fat. So there are good points at either end of the spectrum really - the novice effect (for which I am eternally thankful) and the metabolic effect of being a massive Viking.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •