Can you really gain muscle while cutting and dropping body fat? The short answer is yes – in some cases. The circumstances has to be right and there are many other factors that will determine if you put on muscle while in a caloric deficit. The term used for this method is called body recomposition or “recomp”. It’s a process that doesn’t happen over night and in most cases, it takes a long time to recomp.
It’s not easy losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time. It’s especially difficult for advanced or leaner weight lifters. Newbies and those with a high body fat percentage has an easier time recomping. But, after a year or so and the leaner you get, the harder it becomes to drop body fat while putting on lean muscle. Newb gains generally happen within the first year of lifting and your body has a very noticeable change during this time.
So, if you’re new to lifting or bodybuilding and have a high body fat percentage, dieting while putting on lean muscle is very attainable. For those of us who have a few years of bodybuilding under our lifting belts, body recomposition is a tad bit harder and requires you to eat the right amount of calories and train with intensity.
How To Put On Muscle While Cutting
When I go on a recomp, I eat a lot of green leafy vegetables and lean protein. It also might last for 12-16 weeks and during that time, I pretty much eat the same things with re-feeds thrown in from time-to-time.
I don’t put myself in a caloric deficit like I do when I’m all out cutting. For the most part, I eat slightly below and at maintenance. On high volume days where compound movements are utilized, I eat at maintenance or a very small surplus of calories. My strength usually stays the same during a recomp so I add more volume and heavier sets.
You have to have your diet, calories and training dialed in. If not, you won’t see the results. You’ll cut body fat, but you won’t add lean muscle. If done correctly and with the right supplements, you can gain lean muscle mass while losing fat.