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Can You Build Muscle & Burn Fat at the Same Time?

In the media you'll frequently see reports of people losing large amounts of fat while simultaneously gaining large amounts of muscle.

In reality though, this doesn't happen often. In fact, it usually only happens in the following situations:

1. The person is new to weight training.

2. The person has done weight training before, but is

coming back after a layoff from training.

3. The person is using steroids.

If you happen to fall into one of these categories then gaining an appreciable amount muscle while losing body fat at the same time (called recomposition) is a likely possibility for you. Yay!

However, if you happen to fall outside of these conditions (i.e., you've been weight training consistently for a while and don't have any pharmaceutical assistance), losing fat while gaining muscle is going to be a painfully slow process.

Most actually don't make any progress at all.

Instead, if you want to lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than your body burns). If that's your priority, do that.

If you want to gain muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus (eating more calories than your body burns). If that's your priority, do that.

Trying to achieve both at once will frequently result in stalled progress in both muscle gain and fat loss and you’ll essentially stay exactly where you are.

As the saying goes, he who chases two rabbits catches neither.

If you don't fall into one of the above three categories and you want to make progress, you need to pick a direction and focus.

Mark Young, BKin, is Head Personal Trainer at Heron Creek Yoga & Fitness, a locally-owned health facility located in the Ancaster Rotary Centre at 385 Jerseyville Rd W. Contact us for top quality professional care at our 10,000 sq ft facility which has plenty of equipment, a dedicated Yoga studio, and much more. Email:, phone 905-648-4571, ig @heroncreekyogaandfitness, fb heroncreekyogaandfitness

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