We often hear, gain a lot of muscle and lose fat at the same time, it is not possible. Yet over the years spent on bodybuilding forum, I have come across many people who have managed to change their physical appearance gaining muscle while losing their fat.

So where is the truth? Can we gain muscle when one is on a diet?

The answer is yes ! One can construct a significant amount of muscle being in calorie deficit. This is certainly what is suggested by a study (1) and perplexing figures: 7.4 kg and lost more than 4.3 kg of muscle gained fat in 14 weeks! A more radical change that!

This study, conducted by the Academy of the United States Sports, was interested in the effects on body composition of a training combining strength exercises and endurance in a group of overweight men (fat levels 27%).

The men were divided into 2 groups and had to train three times a week for 14 weeks:

- A "100% endurance" group was cycling and walking (30 minutes for each activity, a total of 60 minutes) at 60-70% of maximum heart rate.

- The other group "fitness-endurance" was subjected to endurance and resistance exercise (8 years, 4 sets per exercise, 8-12 repetitions per series, 60 seconds rest between sets) in the same training .

In terms of exercises, participants were of the bench, high-pulley prints for the back, the developed military biceps curl at the bar, triceps extensions, the leg press, the leg curl for the rear thigh and elevations for calves.

The results were more than impressive! In group "fitness-endurance", loss of fat was obtained 7.41 kg while recording a gain of 4.33 kg of muscle.......


So can we expect such a result? I would say no, everyone can not save such rapid progress, and for several reasons.

First, the men involved in the study were all beginners, and we know that beginners are quickly gaining muscle when they start weight training. After this beginning stage, progress is slower and muscle gains more and more difficult. In addition, these gentlemen were overweight, obese limits, so with a lot of weight to lose. The more you are bigger, you lose fat quickly, as long as you put yourself to eat less and exercise. A person with a physical medium and fat levels lower starting, will lose less and slower.

Hope for fat loss as important (7 kilos) while earning a good amount of muscle (more than 4 kilograms) in just 14 weeks, this is not a realistic goal, especially for practicing with a "clean" physical , one to 12% fat ...

Gain muscle and lose fat at the same time being under caloric restriction is possible, but it works especially for overweight people who have never lifted weights, or those who take a sporting activity after a break. Once you get past the beginner stage, it becomes more difficult, and it often manipulate the calories to get results (weight gain, and dry).

Finally, for those in the opposite case, which have difficulty gaining weight and have no fat reserves, passage by a high calorie overeating is almost indispensable to hope to get results.

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