Should I Lose Weight Before Building Muscle:One of the most frequently asked concerns in the fitness industry is whether or not you should reduce weight before growing muscle.
People frequently overcomplicate or oversimplify situations. Although choosing the best option for you can be a simple question to answer, there are a number of intricacies to take into account.So, before gaining muscle, should you shed weight?
Should I Lose Weight Before Building Muscle
Prior to adding muscle, those with high body fat percentages or those who have been bulking for 12 to 16 weeks should concentrate on shedding fat.
Consider bulking before losing weight if you’re skinny fat, new to strength training, or you want to put your performance in the gym above your appearance.
There is a ton of information available online about whether it is better huge gain muscle or reduce weight first, but most of it is either false or is made up of generalizations that don’t apply to everyone.
In this essay, I’ll go over the following topics to assist clear up any misunderstandings:
- The distinctions between weight loss and fat loss
- How to know if you need to reduce weight before getting stronger
- the benefits of losing weight before gaining muscle
- the benefits of gaining muscle before weight loss
- Whether or not it is possible to simultaneously lose weight and gain muscle
Losing Weight vs Losing Fat
Understanding what we actually mean when we say we want to lose weight is vital before we discuss whether or not you should lose weight before growing muscle.
People usually mean to decrease their weight on the scale when they say they wish to lose weight.
For instance, a 250-pound person might claim they want to lose weight if they want to tip the scales at 200 pounds.
Then, if their progress pauses or they don’t achieve their objective within a given time frame, they will become obsessed on that number and frustrated.
This is a problem for a number of reasons. You might not care where that weight loss comes from if you’re only concerned with what the scale shows.
It may result from a combination of muscle loss, fat loss, and water weight loss.
But frequently, people who wish to lose weight also want to maintain any existing muscle and enhance their body composition.
You need to do it by maintaining your lean muscle mass and concentrating on fat loss rather than simply aiming for a certain number on the scale.
A decrease in your existing level of body fat is referred to as fat loss. Although it doesn’t always happen, you can notice a corresponding decline in your weight on the scale when your body fat % likewise drops.
Even if someone’s body fat drops from 30% to 25%, they may only lose a couple of pounds physically.
This is also what people mean when they say they are shedding inches but not weight; even though the scale may not show it, their body measures are shrinking as a result of a decline in body fat.
You now know the distinction between losing fat and losing weight. What does that mean, though, in terms of deciding whether or not you ought to go on a diet before putting on muscle?
And what if you want to prioritize either losing fat or building muscle at the expense of the other? Let’s investigate.
How To Know If You Should Lose Fat Before Building Muscle (2 Criteria)
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with trying to gain muscle whenever you want, but there are times when you’d want to lose fat before gaining muscle, which I’ll refer to as bulking for the remainder of this post.
1. Your current body fat percentage is higher than 22% for females and 16-18% for males
You should lose extra body fat if your body fat percentage is already high to prepare for bulking.
This is because some fat gain is unavoidable during a bulking phase, and having a body fat percentage that is too high has a number of negative health effects.
Additionally, since you’ll have a lot more weight to lose, it will be more challenging to stick with a fat loss program in the future.
It is crucial to highlight that this does not imply that those with greater body fat percentages should refrain from doing weights.
Numerous advantages of resistance exercise include enhanced metabolism, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, and a decreased chance of disease.
Despite the fact that you should concentrate on shedding fat before you bulk, anyone who is overweight should keep up their strength training.
2. You’re coming off an extended bulk
The more time you spend bulking up, the more likely it is that you’ll gain more fat than muscle.
If you’ve been bulking for more than 12 to 16 weeks, you should shift your attention to fat loss to stop the extra fat accumulation.
Before beginning a fat reduction phase, you should, however, spend some time in a maintenance phase to allow your body to adjust to its new weight.
2 Reasons to Lose Weight Before Building Muscle
1. It can motivate you to stay consistent
I discussed some of the drawbacks of placing too much emphasis on the scale’s number earlier in this post.
However, this does not imply that you should completely disregard your scale weight.
In fact, seeing the weight drop on the scale can give you more confidence and urge you to remain with your plan if you are seriously overweight, are just beginning your fat loss journey, or struggle to stay motivated.
2. You’ll avoid additional fat gain
Bulking stages cause people to accumulate fat in addition to muscle. Your body fat percentage can be kept under control by losing fat before adding muscle.
It may also give you a lower body fat percentage to start from if you want to bulk up in the future so you won’t have to worry as much about it rising to harmful levels.
4 Reasons Not To Lose Weight Before You Build Muscle
1. You struggle with body image issues
I won’t sugarcoat it: gaining weight as a result of increasing muscle mass is almost always difficult to deal with, even if you can separate your worth from the number on the scale.
If you struggle with body image, I advise focusing on your confidence before beginning a fat loss program.
Your mental health and self-esteem can be greatly improved by prioritizing eating healthy meals, exercising frequently, and avoiding the urge to weigh yourself all the time.
2. You’re already lean
It can be tempting to continue in a fat loss phase if you’re still unhappy with how you appear, even if you begin at a relatively low body fat percentage.
However, if your body fat percentage falls too low, it might mess with your hormones, cause you to lose your period, lower your energy levels, and impair your mental clarity.
Males with less than 6% body fat and females with less than 16–20% body fat should first concentrate on bulking.
The majority of professional bodybuilders are at these levels of body fat when they take the stage, but they don’t stay at those levels all year.
You are currently so slim, therefore there is no need to continue losing body fat.
3. You’re skinny fat
The phrase “skinny fat” describes someone with a small frame but little lean muscle mass.
People who are slim fat should give muscle building priority because losing the little lean muscle they already have could happen if they jump right into a fat loss phase.
Furthermore, those who are thin and overweight frequently lack experience with strength training.
You can take advantage of the beginner gains and acquire muscle more quickly than someone with more extensive training experience.
4. Your training goals are more important than your appearance
Sometimes, trying to be stronger and putting on additional pounds or kilograms to your lifts takes precedence over how you appear.
While it is feasible to continue strengthening while in a cutting phase, it is more common than not necessary to maintain greater daily caloric intake in order to provide your body with the energy it needs to lift big weights.
However, as I already indicated, a high body fat percentage might have a detrimental effect on your health.
Even if you aren’t worried with becoming extremely thin, you should always check your body fat % to make sure it is healthy.
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Can You Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?
Body recomposition is the process of simultaneously growing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. It is possible to do this, although the procedure is challenging frequently.
This is due to the competing objectives of simultaneously trying to grow larger and smaller.
One demands you to consume in a calorie surplus, whereas the other calls for a calorie deficit.
Body recomposition is a difficult objective for many people to achieve. They may spend years trying to recover and still only achieve modest gains in lean muscle mass and body fat.
Those who frequently get the best outcomes from a recomp include:
- Those who have high body fat percentages
- people who have never engaged in weight training
- People who have taken a long break from weightlifting and are now returning
They either start off with a higher body weight and burn more calories during exercise, or their bodies aren’t accustomed to the rigors and stimulants of resistance training.
The more consistently you strength train, the more effective your body gets.
As a result, as you get older and leaner through training, it gets harder to modify the way your body looks.
You can still strive toward a recomp even if you don’t fit into any of the aforementioned categories. Just be aware that it takes a lot more perseverance, consistency, and hard effort.
Your odds of success with a recomp can be increased by:
- daily maintenance eating or calorie cycling based on exercise frequency
- putting protein first at every meal
- adhering to a strength training regimen
- not engaging in excessive cardio
- Getting sufficient rest
By adhering to each of these rules, you’ll be able to retain your current level of lean muscle mass, avoid unneeded fat growth, and provide your body with the right quantity of fuel for your activity levels.
In general, it’s simple to decide whether you should lose weight before adding muscle. It is preferable for you to initially try to reduce fat before trying to gain muscle if you have a high body fat percentage or if you have already been in a bulking phase for a long time.
However, you’ll benefit from gaining muscle before attempting a fat loss phase if you’re skinny fat, new to strength training, dealing with body image issues, or more concerned with your performance in the gym than your appearance.