It’s confusing, isn’t it?
You want to get in great shape but don’t know where to begin.
Should you start losing weight? Or should you try building muscle?
With questions circling in your head, you read fitness magazines and websites hoping they have an answer for you.
But what’s this?
All they talk about is complicated workouts, restrictive diets, and expensive supplements.
And now you’re confused even more.
You don’t have time for this bullshit. You want results and you want them fast.
But don’t despair because there’s good news.
As a beginner, you have a secret weapon. A weapon that can get you in phenomenal shape in just 6 months.
And you don’t need to use some wacky workouts, starve-yourself-silly diets, and money-wasting supplements to do that.
Keep reading this post and you will be on your way to getting in great shape.
Are you ready?
It’s a weapon that can transform your body.
As a beginner, you may be skinny. You may be fat. You may be in the worst shape of your life.
But there’s one thing that you possess. The one thing that many people would kill for.
The secret weapon that you possess is body recomposition. Because it can help you build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
It can be really hard.
To build muscle and lose fat at the same time is no joke. Some might even say it’s impossible.
Because losing fat and building muscle fall at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
To lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit where you eat fewer calories than your body burns. The body burns the remaining calories from body fat and that’s how you lose fat.
To build muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus where you eat more calories than your body burns. The body uses the extra calories during intense workouts as well as repair and build stronger muscles.
To lose fat and build muscle at the same time doesn’t seem possible, right?
But as a beginner, you do possess this wonderful weapon of body recomposition.
Body recomposition is a gift.
And you receive this gift only in some special conditions.
When you meet any of the above conditions, you’re a newbie. And as a newbie, you can make newbie gains that will help you build muscle fast in the first 6 months of your training.
Because your body is not used to the intense workouts, it responds by growing your muscles bigger and stronger.
That’s why as a beginner you can use body recomposition to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
It’s quite simple.
You need two things for body recomposition.
If you’re extremely skinny then ignore this step, eat whatever you want and go to step 2. If you’re fat or skinny fat, you need to lose fat.
To lose fat you need a calorie deficit where you eat fewer calories than what your body burns. And the body will burn the required additional calories from body fat.
But there’s a problem.
If you eat too few calories, your body will burn the required additional calories from both fat and muscle.
Losing muscle is a bad thing because it will slow down your metabolism and make losing fat harder. It will also make you weak and skinny.
The solution is to get in a moderate calorie deficit where you burn fat but not muscle. A deficit of 500 calories from your total daily calories is a good starting point for most people.
But how do you figure out the total daily calories you need to eat?
This online calculator will give you the total daily calories you need as well as the calorie deficit.
Enter your details and it will show you the Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week. That’s what you need to maintain a moderate calorie deficit.
How do you know you’re eating the right amount of calories every day?
Measure the food that you eat using the kitchen scale as shown.
Then enter the food and quantity in MyFitnessPal. It will show you the total calories you ate for the day.
Make sure you are eating the Calories/day to lose 1 lb per week that you calculated earlier.
Can you eat anything you want for the required Calories/day?
Yes, if you want to lose weight and look skinny. But if you want to build muscle and lose fat, what you eat is important.
You need to understand about macronutrients — Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Proteins are the building blocks to repair and build strong muscles. You need about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
You also need a decent amount of carbohydrates and fats to keep your body functioning properly.
How do you track the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you’re eating daily?
The good news is it’s already done for you.
When you added the food and quantity in MyFitnessPal, it shows you the amount of each macronutrient in the food.
Just make sure you’re getting 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day and you’ll be fine. So if your weight is 150 lbs, you need to eat 150 grams of protein every day.
What food should you eat for body recomposition?
Healthy foods are great.
But you don’t need to eat chicken, broccoli, and rice six times a day. Neither do you have to starve yourself skinny.
You can use flexible dieting where you eat 80% healthy food and 20% junk food that you enjoy.
Get 80% of your calories from healthy foods like chicken, eggs, lean meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. They will provide you the required macronutrients, vitamins, and fiber.
You can eat 20% of your calories from any food you like including pizza, ice cream, and chocolates. It’s fine as long as you hit your Calories/day to lose 1 pound per week.
Eating your favorite foods every day will help you avoid craving them and blowing your diet with binge eating.
How do you know you’re losing body fat?
The usual way to check if you are losing body fat is with a weighing scale.
But the problem is you’re not just losing body fat, you’re gaining muscle as well. This means your weight might not change much even after a few weeks.
A better way to measure your progress is taking photos of your body every week.
As long as your waist is getting smaller and you’re seeing changes in your muscles, you’re doing great.
Do you need to do cardio to lose fat?
The only thing you require to lose fat is a calorie deficit.
No amount of cardio is going to help you lose fat unless you’re in a calorie deficit.
But cardio can help you get in a calorie deficit by burning more calories. This means cardio can help you eat a bit more food when in a calorie deficit. And who does not want to eat more food?
So if you enjoy food and want to eat more during a calorie deficit, add some cardio into your weekly routine. You can do whatever cardio you enjoy such as running, jogging, cycling, swimming.
The only problem with such steady-state cardio is that you need to do it for several hours every week. And the more cardio you do the more you risk losing muscle.
A better cardio that can save you time and your muscle is high-intensity interval training.
Just 1–2 hours of high-intensity interval training every week with each session of 20–25 minutes burns more calories than hours of steady-state cardio.
With HIIT, you not only burn calories during the workout but also for the next 24 hours due to the after-burner effect. HIIT also helps increase the blood flow to your muscles giving them more nutrients for recovery.
With HIIT, you perform high-intensity exercise for a period of time followed by low-intensity exercise or rest for a period of time. The period can be a few seconds or minutes.
Let’s use running as an example.
With steady-state running, you run for the entire duration at the same pace. Your heart rate may be around 70–80% for this duration.
With HIIT running, you sprint for a few seconds and then jog for a few seconds. You keep alternating between the sprint and jog till the duration of the workout. Your heart-rate should reach 100% during the sprint.
HIIT workouts can be done using running, walking, swimming, jump rope, and body weight exercises. Or a combination of these exercises. That’s what makes HIIT fun and interesting. You can use different exercises in your workout.
If you’re just starting out you can use this beginner HIIT workout program to get started.
The only way to build muscle is progressive overload.
No matter how many exercises you perform, no matter how much weight you lift, and no matter how much you grunt in the gym. If you’re not progressively getting stronger, you’re not building muscle.
So how can you keep getting stronger?
It’s quite simple. Use a good beginner workout program and you’ll be getting stronger in no time.
One good beginner workout program is the StrongLifts 5×5.
It’s a very simple program where you use the golden five exercises- squats, deadlifts, bench press, barbell rows, and overhead press.
It’s called the StrongLifts 5×5 because you’ll perform 5 sets of each exercise and 5 reps in each set.
It’s a full-body workout program which means your full-body gets worked out in a single session. You work out three alternating days of the week because the workouts are intense and your body needs a day to recover.
StrongLifts 5×5 is a blessing for busy guys because each workout session just lasts about 45 minutes. So you’re spending less than three hours every week at the gym but making great gains.
The basic idea of the StrongLifts 5×5 is that in each workout you are trying to progress with the weights.
Thanks to your newbie gains, you’ll be making rapid strength gains pretty much every week. And the more strength you gain, the more muscle you’ll build. Imagine how much awesome muscle you’ll build after just 6 months.
Here is a short guide to the StrongLift 5×5 workouts:
Click here to get more details on performing the StrongLifts 5×5.
See the videos below to perform the StrongLift 5×5 workouts.
With body recomposition, you’ll build awesome muscle and lose a ton of body fat in just 6 months.
But do have realistic expectations.
You’ll gain about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle depending on your genetics.
You won’t be the next Arnold but you’ll get pretty lean and muscular. You’ll make heads turn when you take your shirt off. And people will ask what you did to get an amazing body.
As a newbie, you should focus on a good nutrition and intense workout program.
Most supplements are a waste of your money. The only people who profit from them are the supplement companies that try to sell you all that shit.
Having said that, there are a few supplements that are helpful and convenient.
I would suggest a good multivitamin as it can help you get your daily dose of micronutrients that your nutrition may be lacking.
A fish oil supplement can help you protect your joints and help your sore muscles recover faster.
And the last supplement I would recommend is a good whey protein powder. Because it makes it easy to hit your daily need of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
That’s it. You don’t need any other supplements especially when you’re a beginner.
You would be much better off eating healthy foods rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
You’ll have an amazing body in 6 months with body recomposition.
So can you continue using it for more time? Can you continue making amazing gains?
Unfortunately, the gains you made are called newbie gains for a reason. You get them when you’re a newbie. The more gains your body makes, the slower your future gains.
But don’t lose hope. While you won’t make as many gains as in the first 6 months, you’re still kind of a newbie and will continue to make awesome gains for the next one to two years.
Expect to build 10–20 pound of muscle in the first year. From there on, each year you’ll build about half the muscle you did in the previous year.
After the first year, you can choose to continue using body recomposition or the traditional bodybuilder method of bulking and cutting.
If you decide to continue with body recomposition then understand that it’s a slow process.
Here’s how you can go about it:
Imagine looking in the mirror and feeling amazed.
That great feeling of seeing a toned, muscular body. And that too in just a measly 6 months.
And you did it without doing crazy exercises, without eating like a pigeon, and without emptying your pockets on supplements.
You now know what you need to get there. All you have to do is take that first step.
So believe in your dream body. Believe in the process to get it. And believe in yourself.
I know you got this.