For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a body recomposition might sound a little bit daunting.
Don’t worry, it’s nothing quite as drastic as the name implies—it’s simply a method of how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
So let’s get started! We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the perfect body recomp.
What is a body recomp?
The term refers to the exchange of fat for muscle that many gym-goers refer to as building lean muscle. ‘Can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?’ has long been a divisive question among the gym-going community.
Also Read: Post-workout: What to Eat After a Workout
While most beginners in the gym see a rapid initial transformation of their bodies, this tends to slow with experience as the body adapts, eventually reaching a point where many people switch to cutting and bulking in order to put on muscle and lose fat.
It’s possible to continue your beginner gains for longer, however… if you have the know-how. And fortunately, we do!
Body recomposition: how to do it right
As a rule of thumb, the following is how much muscle you should be aiming to pack on every week over the course of your body recomposition. As you’ll see, it varies according to how long you’ve been training, and how hard:
Novice: 0.5% of your body weight
Intermediate: Between 0.2 and 0.3% of your body weight
Experienced: 0.1% of your body weight
You can see how the potential gains get incrementally smaller—but they’re still possible!
Whereas muscle gained depends on how long you’ve been training for, your fat loss during body recomp is largely determined by your body fat percentage when you start out.
Over 30% body fat for men, over 40% for women
2% body fat shed/week
22-30% for men, 32-40% for women
1.25% body fat shed/week
15-22% for men, 24-32% for women
0.75% body fat shed/week
8-15% for men, 14-24% for women
0.5 body fat shed/week
Under 8% for men, under 14% for women
0.2% body fat shed/week
How to calculate your weekly calorie balance
As you’ll know, building muscle requires a surplus of calories consumed each week, above the amount you need to merely function. Losing fat requires a deficit of calories. To do both at once, you need to plant yourself firmly in the sweet spot between the two.
To figure out where this sweet spot lies, there’s a fairly straight-forward formula you can use.
It takes a deficit of 3600 calories to lose one pound of fat, and a surplus of 1600 calories to build a pound of muscle.
By using the above data on training level and fat loss, you can calculate how large the caloric deficit you need to create is per week to shed fat, as well as how many extra calories you need to be consuming to pack on muscle.
Add these two numbers together to find your calorie balance: the amount you need to lose weight and gain muscle.
How to gain muscle and lose fat: top tips
How long does a body recomp take? There’s no one answer; it largely depends on your training level and the type of body you have. That said, following the advice below will help speed up the process!
Lift heavy weights regularly
Alright, maybe this is obvious—but it’s important. The frequency of your exercise will need to vary depending on your body type, as you need to be sure your muscles are recovering properly in between each workout.
If you’re a beginner, three times a week lifting weights will be enough. If you’re advanced, aim for four, ensuring they’re spread out to allow for enough recovery days.
Don’t overdo it with cardio
A big part of learning how to do a body recomp the right way is avoiding too much cardio. It burns a lot of calories quickly, and can quickly add to your caloric deficit, throwing off that balance you’ve worked hard to achieve.
Rather than cease cardio altogether, follow these three simple rules to ensure you’re not damaging your potential gains:
– Spend more time lifting than doing cardio per week
– Practise cardio in high-intensity short bursts
– Don’t weight train and perform cardio in the same session
Start calorie cycling
No, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to dust off the old bicycle helmet. Calorie cycling is the act of eating a large amount of calories in the wake of a big workout, and eating fewer calories during times when you’re not exercising.
Because your muscles grow and repair themselves most of all in the immediate period following a workout, this is the best time to consume your surplus of calories for the day, as your muscles will gobble them up easily.
A beginner’s post-workout growth window is actually quite long – up to 24 hours – while an athlete’s window will be around a quarter of this or less.
Either way, eating your surplus as close to your workout as possible is the best option.
Get a lot of sleep
Sleep is vital for growth and recovery, and without sufficient sleep you’ll struggle to meet your body recomp goals.
Your body also generates most of its testosterone hormone supplies while you’re asleep – and this is required for muscle growth. The ideal amount of sleep for most people is between eight and nine hours a night.
In order to improve the quality of your shut-eye, make your bedroom as dark as possible, keep the temperature cool, and go to bed at the same time every evening in order to get your brain into a routine.
Avoid screens for an hour or two before bed as well!
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If clean, lasting energy is what you want, BlackWolf is what you need. Body recomposition has never been so achievable!