Why Can’t You Grow Muscles And Burn Fat At The Same Time?


And let some experts admit the possibility of a small  muscle mass growth when losing weight, it is necessary to deal with them in turns. Because by the nature these  processes are contradictory.


These processes  are  called “on the mass”  by people doing weight training  (the period of getting of muscle mass, and fat along with that, because with  muscle gains you need an excess of calories) and “on shredding” (when fat of a sportsman burns, but unfortunately along with some muscle volume).

Gain muscle without getting fat is almost impossible, as well as get rid of fat, not getting rid of a part of muscle volume is also impossible.

These processes are performed by athletes on a step-by-step basis and each step usually takes 2-6 months.


Muscle Growth

During serious physical exercises a man hurts his muscles, roughly speaking microfractures occur in  muscle fibers that the organism recovers. At the same time increasing muscle volume. Building material for recovery of these ruptures are proteins, to be more exact – amino acids from which proteins consist of. Such hormones as testosterone, insulin, somatotropin (growth hormone)  also help in muscle growth and recovery.


In theory, if you give your body an exact amount of proteins (and it is protein with a desired amount of certain amino acids) and other nutrients necessary for synthesis of hormones, thus that nutrition  was correctly balanced on the amount of calories and carbohydrates, the growth in muscle mass may be almost with no growth of adipose tissue. In other words, it is possible to grow dry muscle mass.

However, in practice it  is not possible just to select  this number. And if something is not enough – the muscles will not grow as if everything (and proteins, and fats, and carbohydrates, and vitamins and calories) will be in excess. Roughly speaking, if you eat less than the level  of calories you require, however hard you may try in the gym –  muscles will not grow.

That’s why sportsmen eat so that proteins, fats, carbohydrates and calories will be enough that will for sure guarantee growth of muscle mass, though with a fat gain.

On the whole, in the textbook NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) it is recommended  to consume extra 350-700 calories per day to increase muscle mass (K Raimers, 2008).


Fat Burning

A calorie deficit is vice versa  needed for fat loss. A fat burning mechanism is described in detail in the text  “Why can’t you get rid of fat locally.” Simply speaking, a deficit of energy balance is necessary to burn fat: you should spend more energy than get it from food. In this case, the body gives a signal for production of hormones that gives a command to fat cells to split fat. A split fat gets into  bloodstream and can be consumed by the body to restore the balance of energy or get back into the fat cells.

However, a muscle tissue” is burning necessarily along with fat burning. Because of the caloric deficit muscle fibers diminish.

It turns out that you can usually store muscles with fat and burn fat with muscles.

Muscle growth and fat loss at the same time?

However, there are experts’ opinions that under certain conditions you can burn fat and build muscle mass at the same time. However, with a lot of limitations and absence of a scientific basis for this hypothesis.

The president of the Association of fitness professionals Dmitry Kalashnikov wrote in his blog that under certain conditions you could burn fat and grow muscles. Especially  young untrained boys under 23 years succeed in it. For this he recommends to do a minimum calorie deficit (consume fewer calories than spend for approximately 10%), while consuming enough amount of proteins and have a  normal “bodybuilding” load regime.

However, Kalashnikov misspeaks that it does not always work and basing on his experience – only with beginners.

The expert in physical rehabilitation Sergey Strukov objects to him: “Researches of this type are not still been carried out, as the reasons look quite weak. For argumentation you’re using the results of local reaction to the training of muscles suggesting that a systemic effect will be the same. But … stimulating  all muscles of the body for growth except system ones is not possible, here you need local factors (they are basic) that occur only as a result of an external load and are specific to it (this is supported by research).

Unloaded muscles in conditions of energy deficit will diminish (detraining effect). As a result of training muscle glycogen will necessarily run low, that means energy deficit in cells and “molecular switch” is activated, ie one or a group of signaling proteins and a cell adapt towards increasing of  oxidative capacity. Hypertrophy in this case will not happen (there are researches about it). “

If it does not work, Kalashnikov recommends a good old proven periodization: cycle – “for mass” cycle – “for shredding”. You only need to supervise attentively  that “on mass”  you got fat no more than 30%, and “shredding” – on the contrary, do not lose more than 30% of muscles.


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