Must gain fat and muscle at same time truth?

I heard something about this… that it’s not possible to gain muscle mass without fat at the same time. Any truth here? Links?

Then why aren’t bodybuilders obese?

Most bodybuilders alternate between bulking phases, where they focus on gaining as much muscle as possible, and cutting phases, where they focus on losing fat while minimizing muscle loss. They’ll carry a bit more fat in bulking cycles, but nowhere near what you’d consider obese.

To the OP, yes, you can’t gain only muscle or lose only fat. The trick is in not gaining too much fat, and not losing too much muscle.

Without steriods the average person can only gain between 12 and 15 pounds of pure muscle.

It would be difficult if not impossible to gain muscle without ANY fat. Fat is good you know it does have uses.

I am a thin guy with a lot of muscle. Unless I’m in a tank top and shorts, you think, that’s a skinny dude.

But I am pretty darn strong so it’s you can gain muscle only, but it a LONG process. A body builder trick is to bulk up and then diet to lose the fat. This will produce a bit quicker result.

The thing is if I did that, I would have issues losing the weight. It’s easier for me never to put it on then to take it off.

by ‘body builder trick’ do you mean eat w/e the **** you want?

Actually, I don’t think this is true.
On my new cardiac-friendly (very-low-fat) diet + workout schedule, I have lost around 18 pounds, while at the same time adding 1/2” to my arm measurement. I’m clearly becoming more cut and more muscular at the same time.

This is complete bullshit. The reason most people don’t gain much muscle is that their training and diet is terrible. Put the average guy on a reasonable program–say Starting Strength, or a 5 x 5 variation–make him eat enough to support growth, and he’ll put on a lot more than fifteen pounds of muscle.

What was your beginning % bodyfat, and how long had you been working out before you started this particular regime.

Define “a lot” of muscle.

Because if you have to be wearing a tank top and shorts for me to be able to tell you lift, I (and many others) wouldn’t consider you to be carrying much muscle at all.

Well, I don’t know exactly what my BF % was, but I would estimate 15-20%. I was not what one would consider fat - most people would probably have thought I was “trim.” I had not worked out significantly for several years before my current situation, although I used to be a weightlifter, and still had some residual muscle from that. I would guess my current BF % to be 10% or less. I’m working on less… (Abs, here we come!)

It’s very difficult to gain muscle weight without adding a bit of body fat, but it can be done if you’re very strict with diet.

I think Marxxx was trying to say that you can’t gain more than 12-15 lbs of pure muscles in a year (without steroids)- I’ve heard that stat many times. If men couldn’t gain more than that, there wouldn’t be (natural) bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, etc.

Daniel Craig as James Bond has ‘a lot’ of muscle IMO, but you wouldn’t really know unless he’s half-naked. I recently watched one of the movies and kept being struck by how much smaller he looked clothed - as he’s not a tall, broad or bulky guy, it’s deceptive.

Ahem. Long-distance runners have a lot of muscle, and not a lot of fat. Granted, they are not the same muscles that bodybuilders are going to develop. But what good are those, except to bodybuilders?

But then, I like lean guys. If, when they take off their clothes, it turns out to be muscle, so much the better. Guys who look ultra-muscley even in their clothes don’t appeal to me at all.

Not that Daniel Craig doesn’t have an impressive physique, but he’s a perfect example of somebody with low body fat and not all that much muscle mass.

Depends on whether you define ‘muscular’ by the total poundage of the stuff you carry, or by the proportion of muscle to fat on your body. Daniel probably has a lot less muscle than a 5’10" 300-lb fat dude does, but no one is calling the fat dude ‘muscular’.

IME ‘muscular’ means ‘low body fat, good muscle definition’ to a lot of people. I get called ‘muscular’ (jacked, ripped, in shape, etc) a lot - but only when I’m not covered up. I have a BMI of 17.

Do not confuse people who lose weight while becoming more muscular with “lost weight and gained muscle mass”. They gained muscle visibility. Overall, less muscle, but much less fat masking the muscle.

You can lose weight such that a greater proportion of your body weight is muscle in the end, but the overall mass of muscle is going to be less. While there is anecdotal evidence galore, and it’s not pure science, I can’t even recall steroid users who could manage to get lean while simultaneously building overall muscle mass.

As for the guy who added some size to one muscle group while losing weight: I’d need to know the entire am’t of muscle on your entire frame before and after weight loss. It likely went down.

Here are some sources that say it’s possible, if not easy:

My (admittedly anecdotal) experience agrees.

:rolleyes: Really? A long distance runner is your example of someone having a lot of muscle? I can show you a picture of my marathon running wife if you would like (and she looks just like most of the men that run marathons too, a bunch of skinny bitches all of them!) And EVERYONE has exactly the same muscles as bodybuilders but significantly smaller. So what muscles do long distance runners have that bodybuilders don’t? :smack:

I think people are confusing lack of fat or having low bf levels as being muscular. That is not the case. Having low bf just means that the muscles you do have are exposed. It does not mean you have “a lot” of muscle. I can see my very young sons’ muscles but IN NO WAY does that mean they have “a lot” of muscle.

So “ahem” on that!

Really? A person whose leg muscles can propel him or her at nearly 12 miles an hour for a couple of hours doesn’t have any more muscle than, say, somebody like me? Is it just a stronger muscle, or a more efficient muscle? What’s going on?

Also, when I moved, the guys who came to move my piano freaked me out. There were two of them. They didn’t seem that big. They had to take the piano down a flight of stairs. No problem. They picked it up like it was made of balsa wood. They assured me that they did that all day. They were plenty strong, but not bulky in the least.

Ok. Now we’re getting somewhere. You’ve just indicated that you don’t know what you’re talking about (because of your questions). As such, you probably shouldn’t go 'round acting as if you do. :slight_smile:

Just because your leg muscles can propel you along at 12 mph doesn’t mean you have a lot of them (and they’re still the exact same muscles as the bodybuilders have). It just means that your muscles have a higher capacity for endurance. And in general, muscles that have a high capacity for endurance are smaller than muscles used for lifting heavy things.

In general, an individual can be VERY strong without having what would be considered a lot of muscle. This is due to the composition of the muscle (fiber types) rather than the amount of muscle. You can’t always determine the strength of an individual based on outward appearances. So I’m not surprised at all that the piano movers were very strong but did not appear to be so.

My experience when I used to lift was that you gain muscle and fat however in my case, that was due mainly to the fact that after working out I was so ravenous I probably would have gone cannibal had I not known food was readily available at home - or in some cases, on the way home.

I don’t know if this is characteristic of weight lifters but I’m guessing that it’s probably not.

I’m not sure if this was mentioned since I only skimmed the previous posts, but the reason body builders look so huge is partly the fact that they have ungodly amounts of muscle but mostly due to the fact that they get “pumped” before competitions. I believe this is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

But take someone like Schwarzenegger. For his movie roles, he was obviously pumped. But if you see him after a couple of days of not working out, his muscle volume was much less and he almost looks normal - very well built, but not superhuman.

To add mass of any kind to your body requires a calorie credit. You have to intake more calries than you expend to add mass (otherwise they just get used up).

The body is not efficient enough to simply add muscle. You add it all, muscle and fat.

A bodybuilder will then go through a “cutting” phase where he gets rid of the fat (and some of the muscle, but not as much) leaving behind well defined muscles.