9 Steps to Burn Fat Without Losing Muscle
Learn exactly how to Lose Fat WITHOUT sacrificing precious Muscle Mass during a cut or diet. Believe it or not, you can even lose weight and build muscle at the same time. Find out what the science says about burning fat and building muscle simultaneously. This detailed body recomposition strategy can be used to get lean without losing muscle.
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When most people lose fat they also lose a lot of muscle, which is a huge problem because the dream outcome for most people isn't necessarily to just lose weight or burn fat, it's actually to improve their body composition, which essentially boils down to reducing body fat while also increasing muscle mass. And if you lose muscle every time you try to cut away some fat you're just going to stay stuck in a cyclical process where you take one step back for every step you move forward. So to actually ensure progress I want to give you guys 9 rules that you should follow whenever you're trying to reduce your love handles, your belly fat, or any kind of fat without wasting precious muscle mass in the process.
And the first thing is to make sure you base your caloric intake on your current body fat percentage to maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle loss. This is so important because the less body fat you carry, the more prone you are to muscle loss. On the other hand, if you have a high body fat percentage, you can diet much more aggressively without risking muscle loss. This is because there's more stored energy available for your body to tap into and use as fuel, when you're overweight or when you have a high body fat percentage. So your body doesn’t need to break down muscle tissue to get that fuel. So based on the scientific data here's exactly how I would set up your calorie deficit as a function of your body fat percentage (1). As you can see the table on the screen (1.5) shows us that if you happen to be a man with an average body fat percentage of 15 to 21 percent, you can reduce your calories by 20 to 30 percent from maintenance without risking too much muscle loss. On the other hand, if you're a man with a body fat percentage that's greater than 26 percent you can literally reduce your calories by 40 to 50 percent without risking excessive muscle loss. The easiest way to figure out approximately what level your body fat percentage is right now would be by looking on the screen and choosing the range that looks most similar to your body. And to figure out your maintenance calories you can either click the link below in the description for our macro calculator or you can google a macro calculator. Just Keep in mind that it's totally fine to diet less aggressively than the numbers that you see on these tables, but to avoid muscle loss, I highly recommend not exceeding the calorie deficit ranges that you see for each category. Also, since no macro calculator is perfect, you may want to keep track of how much weight you lose every week. If you lose more weight than the numbers in the “Maximum weekly weight loss” column indicates then that could be a sign that you’re dieting too aggressively. (2)
The next super important rule to follow is to Maintain Your Training Intensity as you cut down. From the training side of things, this is by far the best thing you can do. Unfortunately, when you’re in a calorie deficit, it can become harder to recover from your workouts because the calorie deficit itself triggers physiological changes that impair recovery. For example, there will be a reduction in testosterone and IGF-1 production along with a simultaneous increase in cortisol. (3) All of these changes are far from ideal for muscle growth and recovery. So most people will adjust their workout to make up for their reduced energy levels and their reduced recovery capacity. The big problem is that usually, people do this by reducing their training intensity. In other words, by reducing the amount of weight they lift. And that's a HUGE mistake because there is a very close correlation between strength and muscle mass (4). This means your ability to maintain muscle while you cut is very closely related to your ability to maintain your strength levels while you cut.
So even though you will most likely lose some strength each week as you diet you shouldn't just willingly reduce your weight load every week because you have less energy. You should fight to maintain that same intensity throughout your cut almost in the same way that you would train if you were trying to gain strength. You should only reduce the weight when you physically can't lift the weight for the intended rep range that you're going for while maintaining good form of course. Instead of reducing intensity to match your lower energy levels, it's a better idea to reduce your rep and set volume during a cut. So for example before your cut you might've been doing 225 for 10 reps, but...