Can You Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time?

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Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Many people have the goal of building muscle and losing fat at the same time, but how achievable is it?

One of the most common fitness goals, along with losing weight, is to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Many people who are upset with their body are desperate to change things and often start resistance training with the goal of transforming their body shape.

However, it is important to assess whether this goal is achievable or not. Fat loss is different from weight loss in that it is more about changing the look of your body than changing your numbers on the scale. This involves losing fat but also adding muscle.

So, can you do it? How realistic is it for you to lose fat and build muscle at the same time?

Beginners vs Advanced Athletes

If you are someone who has very little training experience and has limited amounts of muscle tissue, you will be a perfect candidate for building muscle and losing fat at the same time. For beginners, it is not difficult to make progress, if you have a structured training plan and have some emphasis on quality nutrition.

In the early days, by doing resistance training, you will find that your muscle tissue increases, strength goes up and body fat goes down, providing that you are not overeating. However, there will come a point when you will not be able to add more muscle unless you increase your calorie intake. This is when you reach a more intermediate stage.

The other group of people who can be prime candidates for building muscle and losing body fat at the same time is advanced athletes who are competing. This is largely due to the supplements, such as Clenbuterol, that they take on a day-to-day basis, which allows them to do both at a faster rate than most and enhances athletic performance when training. However, it is important to note that this is a very advanced level and not relevant for most of those looking to get in shape.

The Essentials

One of the most important things you need to do is increase your calorie intake to a total of 14 times your total body weight in pounds. Most people fall into the trap of undereating when they try to get in shape, but this will help you boost your metabolism, encourage the growth of muscle tissue and increase your calorie-burning efficiency.

Another essential will be your protein intake. When you start to train regularly, the emphasis on recovery will be greater and protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to building the muscle tissue that you have broken down in your sessions. It has ‘building blocks’ called amino acids that the body uses to build and repair muscles and bones, in addition to making hormones and enzymes. Aim to consume one gram per pound of bodyweight and make this a consistent feature of your meals.

The last essential is to resistance train regularly, hard, and with consistency. Building muscle will not only allow you to add a better structure to your body and increase your strength, but it will also increase your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn without doing anything) because the body requires more energy (calories) to then maintain that muscle. Therefore, you will be burning more calories throughout the day, which allows you to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.


So, it is possible to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously, but only for those who have been training for up to 6-12 months and those who are on advanced supplementation. However, you must be training consistently, have increased your calorie and protein intake, and be recovering properly. Once you move into the intermediate stage, this is when you must dedicate a certain time period towards either building more muscle or losing more body fat.

Photo Credit: Envato Elements

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