Lose weight and build muscle: Can we pursue these 2 objectives?

How to lose weight and build muscle at the same time?

Is it even possible?

I mean, for a normal human. Not for Orionax C9X Planet Zorkglubz 😉

This is a question that I have often been asked. Seriously, my readers ask me a lot of questions about diet and fitness. And this one comes up very often.

To tell the truth, this is a question that I have asked myself for a long time. And you too, no doubt.

Yes how gain muscle and burn fat the same time ?

Because to be able to answer it, you must start by solving the big problem that prompts you to ask it.

What problem ?

Two minor facts… for a major problem

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably know what I'm talking about.

But let me draw your attention to 2 important facts:

  1. Losing fat takes a calorie deficit (click to read the article). It simply means you need to take in fewer calories than your body needs to break down fat for energy.
  2. Gaining muscle volume requires creating a calorie surplus. As the name suggests, you must therefore consume more calories than your body needs in order for it to create new muscle tissue.

Do you see the problem?

When you put these 2 facts side by side, you are left with a seemingly unsolvable puzzle: Weight loss and building muscle requires a completely different calorie intake.

This is why you ask yourself, like a multitude of other people “HOW CAN I GET THIS???!!! »

Saint Panoramix, help us! Take out your magic potion.

lose weight and build muscle at the same time thanks to the magic potion
A little steroids, a pinch of growth hormones...

Can the miracle happen?

Well, see for yourself…

Eat to Lose Banner 300X250

Can you really lose weight and build muscle at the same time?

The answer is (hang in there):

  • YES in some cases.
  • NO most of the time.

Disappointed? I understand.

But I'm not laughing at you. It's a real answer.

You will understand all of this in a few moments.

What you must first know is that this possibility is available to you if you meet certain criteria, which are 4 in number (including 1 disreputable).

The good news is that if you're new to the sport, you may be one of the lucky candidates.

The other good news is that I will explain the techniques to achieve these 2 objectives: to lose weight and to build muscle.

Let’s start by answering an important question…

Who can achieve these 2 goals at the same time?

Only 4 groups of people can gain muscle and burn fat at the same time:

  1. Beginners who have a lot of fat to burn.
  2. Those who have already had muscle volume in the past and are returning to bodybuilding.
  3. People with a genetic heritage to make you green with envy.
  4. The fads who use steroids, growth hormones and other rotten products.

Well, I'm pretty sure these last 2 bands don't surprise you.

In fact, we are almost all equally jealous of people who have an extraordinary genetic heritage.

For example, as you know if you have been reading this for a while, I resided in West Africa for 8 years. And I was often disgusted to see super-muscled young Africans without doing any weight training. More drawn and voluminous than Europeans who train every day in the gym.

I promise you, some of them have an incredible genetic heritage! Especially when I see their completely unbalanced diet, super high in carbohydrates (carbs) and low in protein.

But if, like me, you have a highly average genetic heritage, it's not the same song...

So, in addition to people with an unusual genetic heritage, there are those who use steroids and other products of the same ilk.

Sure, that changes everything. But I don't want to talk about it since it has no interest for us.

Don't forget that I only endorse “clean” sports practice. Afterwards, you do what you want with your life... or your death.

To understand the risks, I invite you to read:

Let's go back to our first 2 groups, those in which you could find yourself:

1. Beginners with good body fat

The condition that complete beginners find themselves in when they begin to train makes them capable of observing rapid changes.

This is true in virtually every area, and especially when it comes to muscle strength and size.

ALSO READ:  Cardio training: What it is and 12 health benefits

Now, if you combine these favorable abilities with an abundance of body fat, you suddenly find yourself with superpowers.

Let me explain.

Fatter-than-average beginners have the short-term ability to:

  1. burn the calories stored as fat,
  2. to use them to build muscle.

Basically, your body burns fat as a fuel source for muscle growth.

As a result, it uses your own body fat as a "calorie surplus".

It is magic.

Now, how long does this benefit last? Honestly, I don't know.

What I do know is that the fatter you are, the more you will be able to do this…and the better your results will be.

The thinner you are, the less you will get these kinds of results. Sorry.

I think it's also related to the fact that endomorphs (a morphological type) not only have the ability to easily accumulate fat, but also the ability to gain muscle volume quite easily.

You can't be bad at everything!

So if you just have a couple pounds of fat to lose, don't kid yourself too much.

But if you have enough of it, you will most likely have that (short-term) ability to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

How to make the most of it?

To do this, create a moderate calorie deficit, while having an adequate protein intake.

Use a training program that will allow you to gradually increase your workload. And move your behind to get there!

Although you won't gain muscle at the same rate as you lose fat, you will still be able to progress while consuming fewer calories.

But remember that it is temporary.

Eventually, you'll no longer be an inexperienced beginner, and your body fat will have dropped noticeably.

From then on, you will have lost your superpowers and that incredible ability to lose weight and build muscle the same time.

So, enjoy while it lasts!

Either way, you're not going to complain about getting thin again.

Now let's talk about the 2nd category of people with this ability:


2. Those who regain lost muscle after a break

The people who will be able to experience a similar benefit are those who once built muscle but lost after quitting the sport.

In this case, the magic happens due to a phenomenon related to muscle memory.

My experience

This is what happened to me when I took up bodybuilding seriously at over 47 years old.

For fifteen years, I had more or less abandoned this sport in favor of tennis. Then I had stopped playing tennis at the age of 40 due to recurring problems with my right shoulder, elbow and lower back.

Since then, I was doing cardio 3 times a week and a bit of strength training, but nothing very organized. To tell the truth, from 44 to 47 years old, I only did a few sporadic training sessions since my installation in Africa.

It must be said that the heat does not motivate much.

In between, I lost muscle volume and gained fat. I weighed 98 kg in 2014. Ouch!

Fortunately, I am 1.86 m tall. It reduces the visual impact 😀

But when I got back very seriously to bodybuilding and fitness sessions, I realized that I was quickly regaining my 20-year-old physique. And this, despite my almost 50 years!

I lost 12 kg in less than 9 months, just by doing 3 or 4 sessions of 30 minutes of HIIT Tabata per week. I continued to eat as much, but reduced my carbohydrate intake, especially pasta, and increased my protein intake at the same time.

As if by magic, my muscle volume returned, despite my almost 50 years. Of course, since I've never been very bulky, I don't have a bodybuilder's physique. Anyway, that was never my goal.

But I am very satisfied with the result and my sessions.

The main reason is muscle memory, as you read at the beginning of this section.

So, a good tip if you're in your twenties:

Take muscle today to be able to have it in 30 years!

lose weight and build muscle after 50
The gentleman tells you to train harder!

Let's summarize this part

The takeaway from this part is that you need to build enough muscle today to be able to build muscle quickly later.

If you don't exercise when you're young, you'll be in trouble later.

Silhouette program

Who can't lose weight and build muscle at the same time?

In the introduction, you read that Most people can't get there.

I know it sucks to hear that, but it's the truth.

And the reason is clearly the calorie deficit and surplus problem.

You cannot do both at the same time. NEVER.

ALSO READ:  Home fitness program for beginners (with free PDF)

It makes sense, right?

How do you want eat less to lose weight while eating more to build muscle?

Explain me.

Unless you belong to one of the 4 groups mentioned above, the likelihood of building muscle and losing fat at the same time is between plus or minus zero and nothing.

Or, if you have not yet understood, between impossible and not possible.

Is it clear to you?

Oh ! I know what some of you are thinking right now:

“Yet there are many bodybuilding sites that say it's quite possible, Stéphane. They even give advice on how to get there. Yes, some even claim that they can do it, with supporting photos. »

It's true, many say so. But you know, it has also been said for a very long time that the earth is flat…

So, I'll tell you what the claims of these bodybuilding gurus are due to:

1. Commercial dung

Do me a favor.

The next time you read a fitness or bodybuilding article claiming that "everyone is wrong...and we can all build muscle and lose fat at the same time," take a second to watch the sequel.

I mean, as soon as they have explained to you in detail why or how it is possible to achieve this, don't they offer you some kind of program, book, super magic supplement or something that you can buy to get there?

Wow, what a coincidence!

All serious sites claim that it is impossible, except in the few cases I told you about above.

Fortunately, most French-speaking bodybuilding sites remain cautious on this subject, unlike their American counterparts. Remember, however, that if you come across a site or a coach who tells you otherwise… it's just a good old lie to sell a product or a business.

Mind you, I'm not saying it's wrong to sell something that works. I do it myself on this blog.

But not from a lie. You know, the incredible method to lose 10 kg of fat in 5 days and build 12 kg of muscle in 3 weeks.

“Your credit card will be enough to discover this wonderful secret”

Add to that steroids, muscle memory, or both, and they'll even have photos to "prove" what they're saying. Without telling you how the results were obtained, of course.

Ken Coaching muscle gain

2. The game of semantics

lose weight and build muscle at the same time
Get out your dictionaries! Some play on words.

Semantics is the study of the meaning of words. And sometimes dream sellers play on the meaning of words to say nonsense things. They lead you to believe that “at the same time” means the same thing to them as it does to you.

When in reality their method talks about building muscle and losing fat in the “same amount of time” (eg 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year, etc.).

It's not the same thing.

Maybe what I'm saying sounds stupid to you. But, I've seen programs sold that claim they'll let you build muscle and lose fat at the same time, when really they tell you how to slim down for 12 weeks before helping you get fat. muscle volume for 12 weeks… and voila!

In those nearly 6 months, you've been building muscle and losing fat "at the same time." What, is that not quite what you understood?

That said, it's less serious since you finally reach the goal: to lose weight and build muscle. But you will probably have been deceived into buying a very expensive method that is ultimately very classic.

3. Body recomposition or “body recomposition”

This very fashionable practice generally involves alternating calorie surplus and deficit days in the same week.

To do what ?

Well, you understood it if you read this article correctly. It is to solve this famous problem of conflict between muscle gain and fat loss.

Calorie surpluses are planned on training days to support muscle growth, while calorie deficits are implemented on rest days to burn fat.

By the end of the week you are supposed to have made small progress in both directions.

So, while you won't see any real change in your weight, you are supposed to have changed your body composition over time.

That is, you should have less fat and more muscle.

The problem with this technique to lose weight and build muscle at the same time

Do you remember that old proverb:You can't run 2 hares at the same time”? And yet, this is what this method offers you.

lose weight and build muscle
Run one hare at a time!

But consider this:

If you run after a hare for 100 meters, before turning around to chase after the other hare that has gone in the opposite direction for 100 meters, what progress have you made? NO.

If I am not mistaken, you will be at the same point as at the beginning. Nope ?

ALSO READ:  15 cardio exercises at home to discover in 2022 👌

On the other hand, if you run after a single hare until you catch it, you can always start looking for the 2nd hare afterwards.

Am I good or not?

Well, I will explain later how this principle will work for you. allow you to lose weight and build muscle.

But first, let’s go back a bit to body recomposition…

Does it really work to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?

The correct answer lies precisely between “maybe, a little, barely and sometimes”.

What does it mean ?

Well, that means that if body recomposition works, it will do so so slowly that you can consider it a huge waste of time and effort.

I mean if you are only looking for super tiny changes to your body, with no long term goals, then this is an option 😉

Can I be frank with you?

It's really not something I recommend.

But then… How can you finally and intelligently achieve these 2 goals?

How to be sure to lose weight and build muscle?

It's actually fairly easy.

It boils down to one word:


Remember the example of the hares.

You need to focus on one goal at a time, then alternate between them. But in such a way as not to short-circuit one or the other of the objectives.

Confused ? Here is what it means in everyday French…

  1. You train for a period of time to lose fat and get lean. You consume fewer calories than your body needs. You also increase the amount of protein in your diet (at least 2.2 g per kg of body weight, unless you are obese).
  2. At the same time, you are weight training to maintain muscle mass and strength. Consider reducing your training volume, but not the intensity of your sessions.
  3. Once you are thin enough (be careful not to overdo it, however), you move on to the muscle building phase.
  4. During this time, you increase your food intake to go into a calorie surplus. Consider protein intake first. Be careful with your calorie surplus to ensure that you are essentially gaining lean muscle. You will necessarily gain some fat at the same time, but try to limit this increase.
  5. Then you just have to alternate depending on your goals until you have the physique you want.

So, even if you focus your attention on one goal at a time, you will never leave the second aside. You will always be in a favorable situation to achieve both.

Which goal should you focus on first?

Lose weight and build muscle - which goal first
Choose your first training goal wisely

Yes, it is important to start in the right order.

If you have fat to lose, you need to start there. Even if at the beginning, you benefit from this “miraculous” period where you can pursue the 2 objectives at the same time…

Why ?

Because, as you read earlier, gaining muscle volume requires a caloric surplus. If you have not reasonably eliminated your excess fat as a priority, on the one hand you are harming your health, and on the other hand, you will find it difficult to appreciate the results of your efforts.

So, start by slimming down to put yourself in the best conditions for gaining muscle volume.

Discover this complete didactic method you really want to get rid of your fat quickly and permanently:

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So here we are.

It is indeed possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time for a select few.

I know, life is really too unfair...

If you're one of them, enjoy while it lasts. You'll probably lose your superpowers soon enough.

And for those who can't, the worst thing is trying to make it happen anyway.

The ideal solution is to pursue one objective at a time, as intelligently as possible, before alternating. Starting with fat loss.

In the end, you'll have lost weight and gained muscle...but not quite at the same time.

What do you think ? Leave a message in the comment area below to share your opinion or your experiences. Thank you 😉

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9 réflexions sur “Maigrir et se Muscler : Peut-on poursuivre ces 2 objectifs ?”

  1. Hello I go to the gym for 1 year and a half Monday zumba Wednesday caf Friday body pump I measure 1.60 for 64 kilo I would like like like many to lose my fat well localized on the wrists of love and lower body but I would also like to see my hard work physically but ... ?

  2. Hello. I would like some advice and some typical ideas to get started. I am lost. But in private would be ideal because I don't like to expose myself

  3. Hello
    What you say is absolutely true, but how could I lose weight and build muscle a little, in the arms, thighs, and especially the stomach, because I did sports for years, and I ran, and since my worries are hard hard, osteoporosis, sciatica, arthritis, what do you advise me? would there be something to help me, on the other hand I am very careful with what I eat

    1. Hello Isabelle,

      As you combine several pathologies, it will be difficult for me to say what will work for you. No doubt a specialist who knows you could advise you on the most appropriate movements to preserve your joints.

      That being said, if I were in your shoes, as the English say, I would try some gentle weight training with elastic bands and follow the exercises in this program without forcing to test first.

      As for sciatica, what has helped me a lot is applying the advice from Canadian Paul Rousseau in this video. It's radical every time I have a crisis.

      Finally, I will recommend that you try the exercises in these 2 articles:
      12 stretches to feel good
      The TOP 12 abs exercises without breaking your back

      I hope all of this can help you feel better soon.

  4. Hello. I'm going down this path. I hope to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. I am overweight and I think I am in the 1st case. At the beginning of the session I start with 20 minutes of cycling and then I attack the muscu afterwards. I go 1 day out of 2 and I work the arms one session and the legs the other. I don't know if this is the right option

    1. Hello Ziffou,

      What you do is good if you respect these 2 rules:
      1/ You still have one day off per week
      2/ You don't just do the arms, but also the pectorals, the back, the abs and the shoulders. By the way, I recommend doing the abs and shoulders on leg day.

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